CANADA STOCKS-TSX off 10-month high, energy weakness offsets RIM jump
* TSX up 2.50 points, or 0.02 percent, to 12,604.68 * Index hits highest point since March 2012 * RIM jumps on BB10 hopes By John Tilak TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index eased from a 10-month high on Monday as investor optimism for Research In Motion Ltd shares over the upcoming launch of its BlackBerry 10 devices was partly offset by falling energy shares. Strength in the materials sector, which includes mining stocks, further supported the market, while volatile oil prices were a drag on the energy sector and kept the gains in check. RIM shares were consolidating a 13-percent gain made on Friday. The stock added 8 percent to C$14.41 and helped the information technology sector gain 2.2 percent. "The investor confidence is brought about simply because of hope, and hope that the new BlackBerry 10 is going to be an answer to their prayers," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "There has been some talk that this is a revival of RIM. We'll have to wait and see," he added. At midafternoon, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index inched up 2.50 points, or 0.02 percent, at 12,604.68, after touching 12,636.68, its highest since March 5, 2012. Five of the 10 main sectors of the index were trading higher. The index swung back and forth between positive and negative territories in choppy trade. "There's a lot of indecisiveness out there. People don't really know which way to go and you're getting these markets that aren't really doing much of anything," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates. Investors kept a close watch on the U.S. debt ceiling talks, seen as a significant catalyst for the markets, with hopes that a compromise will be reached. "There is reasonable optimism that it would be resolved," Brough said. A rise in commodity prices and a spurt of deal activity helped support the materials group. Miner Goldcorp Inc added 1.1 percent to C$36.65, and Cameco Corp gained 3.8 percent to C$20.93. Miner Alamos Gold Inc said it will buy Aurizon Mines Ltd for about C$780 million ($793 million) in cash and stock to get access to Aurizon's only operating gold mine, Casa Berardi, in northern Quebec. Aurizon shares jumped 34 percent to C$4.57. Russia's state uranium firm agreed to pay $1.3 billion to take Canada's Uranium One Inc private, as the successor to the Soviet Union's nuclear industry seeks to strengthen its grip on supplies. Uranium One's stock rose 15 percent to C$2.78. The energy sector was down 0.4 percent, with Talisman Energy Inc falling 3 percent to C$11.74 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd slipping 1.5 percent to C$29.34. Oil prices were volatile, with Brent crude rising to $112 on supply concerns. In other company news, shares of Harry Winston Diamond Corp rose 5 percent on the company's plans to sell its high-end watches-to-necklaces division to Swatch Group in a $750 million cash deal that expands the Swiss watchmaker's luxury offering and lets the Canadian group concentrate on its diamond mines. Encana Corp shares dropped more than 2 percent after the surprise resignation of the chief executive officer of Canada's largest natural gas producer. Investors were also awaiting comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will speak on U.S. monetary policy, recovery from the global financial crisis and long-term challenges facing the American economy.
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