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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped into the red on Monday, ending a 7-day winning streak as rival miners won no love from a merger and investors also took a step back from a range of industrial and energy names.
Shares in Alamos Gold Inc jumped 6.6 percent to C$7.90 and AuRico Gold Inc surged 8.2 percent to C$4.09 as the pair of Canadian gold miners unveiled a $1.5 billion merger plan.
But the materials sector on the whole still fell almost 1 percent as resource prices softened on weak Chinese trade data.
Barrick Gold Corp, one of the world's largest bullion producers, slipped 2.3 percent to C$15.59, while diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd was off 3.8 percent at C$16.65.
"I don't think you get a lot of downside protection investing in commodities so I'm not going to do it," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended the session down 4.84 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,383.59. It had gained almost 500 points since the end of March.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 125 to 115, for a 1.09:1 ratio on the upside.
The railways fell and Bombardier Inc also weighed on industrial names, with the plane and train maker slipping back 1.5 percent to C$2.60 after Friday's Reuters report it was looking to raise cash.
The energy sector was flat overall but featured some of the heaviest influencers on the index at both ends of the spectrum.
"Energy stocks are a little bit better, but news is mixed on that front," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
Suncor Energy Inc, which has risen steadily since mid-March, slipped back 0.4 percent to C$39.53, while Imperial Oil Ltd gave up 1.1 percent to C$54.12.
Baskin's Schwartz said that some energy names have been bought optimistically considering that crude oil is still hovering around $50 a barrel.
"If a year from now we are still at these levels it's not going to be pretty," he said.
Crude prices gained on geopolitical tensions and a slowdown in U.S. drilling, but gains were limited by data that showed a drop in Chinese oil imports in March, while overall Chinese exports in the month were also sharply lower. [O/R]
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway and Grant McCool