CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as BlackBerry jump offsets dip in miners
* TSX rises 11.70 points, or 0.09 percent, to 12,847.31 * Six of 10 main sectors decline * BlackBerry shares up nearly 10 pct on U.S. launch plans By John Tilak TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as declines in mining shares following weak economic data from China were offset by a jump in BlackBerry and gains in financials. BlackBerry shares gained nearly 10 percent after U.S. wireless carrier AT&T Inc said it would start selling the highly anticipated BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone to customers by March 22, with early sales of the long-delayed devices to begin on Tuesday. "Given what we've seen with the product's acceptance in other parts of the world, the U.S. should probably follow suit," said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management. "They (BlackBerry) might be able to steal some market share back." BlackBerry's stock climbed to C$14.71. By late morning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 11.70 points, or 0.09 percent, at 12,847.31 after opening lower. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. Investors also tracked data from China that showed inflation at a 10-month high in February, and that factory output and consumer spending were weaker than forecast. Imports were also surprisingly weak, falling 15.2 percent from a year earlier to 13-month lows and highlighting vulnerability in the economy. "With weaker imports, that's a reflection that perhaps they're entering into a stage of destocking, or the economic activity continues to moderate," Petursson said. "The marginal demand for commodities comes from China," he added. "If we start to see that demand slow down, that will have a negative impact on commodity prices and, as such, a negative impact on commodity producers." The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was the biggest drag on the index, down 0.3 percent. Barrick Gold Corp fell 1.2 percent to $C29.42. The energy sector slipped 0.1 percent, with Encana Corp losing 1.1 percent to C$19.70. Financials, the index's weightiest sector, added 0.3 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.5 percent at C$62.74.
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