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* TSX down 22.50 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,096.49 * Worries over Europe, China push Canada market down * Gold miners keep rising By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main equity index slipped on Thursday as investors fretted over troubles in Europe and slowing growth in China, but gold miners limited the damage as they continue to climb out of a trough. Heavyweight banking and energy companies pulled the index into the red, despite the strong showing from bullion producers which have been among the Toronto exchange's worst performers this year. "It's a good environment for gold, particularly if you are negative on what is going to happen in September and October," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management, referring specifically to a looming decision about Greece's place in the European Union. "People really don't know what happens if Greece is pushed out the door. We've got to get past this hurdle." The majority of the exchange's sectors were trading lower, led by heavyweight energy and financial stocks. Fertilizer company Potash Corp dipped 2.3 percent to C$41.26 and Suncor Energy Inc slipped 1.4 percent to C$31.29. Meanwhile, Goldcorp Inc added 1.3 percent to C$40.49, while smaller rival Centerra Gold Inc jumped 10.3 percent to C$8.38. The price of bullion was steady near 3-1/2 month highs. Toronto's gold mining sub-sector has gained 11 percent in the past month, but 12 percent lower since the start of 2012. At 10:28 a.m. (1428 GMT)The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 22.50 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,096.49. The commodity-rich Canadian market is sensitive to signs of slowing growth in China, whose manufacturing sector contracted at its sharpest pace in nine months in August, according to a survey showing falling export orders and rising inventories. The data was seen as a signal that more policy stimulus may be needed to engineer a second half pick-up in growth.