June 13, 2012 / 9:15 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat on US data, Europe uncertainty

* TSX ends up 0.57 of a point at 11,497.87
    * Financials lead gains; energy shares offset
    * Thin trade ahead of Greek elections

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, June 13 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks swung back and
forth before ending flat on Wednesday, as financial and mining
gains were offset by energy losses as weak U.S. economic data
and Europe's debt crisis weighed on sentiment.	
    Canada's main stock index outperformed its global
counterparts, which fell on Wednesday as investors shunned
riskier equities assets in favor of gold and low-yielding
government bonds. 	
    "We're all over the place," said Levente Mady, market
strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver. "On a very
short-term basis there's just no rhyme or reason."	
    Six of Canada's 10 main sectors finished in the red, led by
the heavyweight energy group, which sank 1.1 percent.	
    Declines were led by large oil and gas producers Canadian
Natural Resources, which slid 1.6 percent to C$27.12,
Cenovus Energy, down 0.8 percent at C$31.99 and Suncor
Energy, which slumped 0.4 percent to C$28.86.	
    Bonavista Energy Corp tumbled 6.7 percent to
C$14.43 and Enerplus Corp fell 3.8 percent to C$13.01
after the oil and gas producer said on Tuesday it will cut its
monthly dividend by half as it looks to cope with weak commodity
    Paramount Resources Ltd's shares dropped 7.7
percent to C$23.77 a day after Standard & Poor's lowered its
credit rating on the Canadian natural gas producer because of
weak gas prices and the company's hefty capital spending plans.
It has fallen more than 12 percent in the last two trading
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 0.57 of a point at 11,497.87. It lurched
between a high of 11,580.39 and a low at 11,440.36.	
    Investors are expected to remain skittish ahead of a Greek
vote on Sunday and on fears Spain's financing problems may
spread to Italy. The question of whether Greece will remain in
the euro zone after the election and the potential impact of
Europe's woes on global growth took a toll on
    "This thing in Europe has got everybody pretty much on the
sidelines right now," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at
Caldwell Securities Ltd.	
    In the near term, Canadian financials shrugged off Europe
jitters, rising 0.6 percent as investors opted for Canada's
generally conservative banks as a hedge against global economic
    Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender, 
rose 0.9 percent to C$50.99 and Toronto-Dominion Bank,
the second largest, climbed 1.1 percent to C$79.	
    Bank of Nova Scotia shares were up 0.6 percent at
C$51.95 after the head of the bank's global wealth management
division said on Wednesday it has no plans now to tamper with
its 36 percent equity stake in Canadian mutual fund company CI
Financial Corp, but it might consider raising its stake
if the opportunity arises. 	
    The battered materials group, which includes gold and base
metals miners, edged up 0.3 percent. The most influential
gainers included Goldcorp Inc, up 1.9 percent to C$41.23,
Teck Resources, which rose 2.9 percent to C$32.32, and
First Quantum Minerals, up 5.6 percent at C$18.50. 	
    Commodities were also pressured after an influential
government adviser in China was quoted as saying the country's
economic growth could fall below 7 percent in the second quarter
if weak activity persists in June. 	
    Mady said the TSX could slide another 3 or 4 percent to
around 11,000, pending more headwinds from Europe.	
    "I find it remarkable that with all bad news that we're
getting, not only from Greece and Spain but also with China
slowing down and everything else, that you have the S&P 500
still over 1,300 and the TSX at 11,500."	
    In other company news, Dollarama Inc shares surged
6.6 percent to C$60.61 after Canada's largest dollar-store chain
reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit and announced a
stock repurchase plan on Wednesday.
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