* TSX down 16.5 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,065.75
* Miners, railways among biggest decliners
* RIM rises on Apple-Samsung court case fallout
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s main equity index slipped on Monday morning as investors pulled back from mining and railway stocks, but Research In Motion shares jumped on hopes that it will benefit from a critical legal victory by Apple Inc over Samsung in a patent dispute.
The index’s losses were also limited by gains in Canada’s big banks, which are due to report quarterly earnings this week. As well, some oil and gas shares firmed though oil prices slipped.
“The market is really confused,” said John Hughes, senior mining analyst at Desjardins Securities in Toronto. “There’s no real commitment, up or down.”
He said that Toronto-listed miners, particularly those that extract copper, could bounce higher by the end of the year if China moves to restock depleted stores of the metal, which is used extensively in industrial construction.
Oil and gas producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was the single biggest weight on the index, down 0.9 percent at C$30.79. Other decliners included Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Canadian National Railway Co.
On the plus side, Talisman Energy added 2.6 percent to C$13.91 and natural gas producer Encana Corp gained 1.1 percent to C$21.74.
Cameco Corp shares dropped 0.5 percent to C$22.34 after the company said it will buy an Australian uranium deposit from BHP Billiton for $430 million.
RIM gained 2.9 percent to C$7.08 after a U.S. court awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages on Friday after it found that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd had copied important features of the iPhone and iPad.
The verdict could lead to an outright ban on sales of products made by Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, and open market space for RIM products using its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Most banks carried on with gains notched late last week as they prepare to issue quarterly reports this week, with Bank of Nova Scotia adding 0.4 percent to C$52.65.
By 10:40 a.m. (1440 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 16.5 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,065.75. It had opened in positive territory.
A top official at the U.S. Federal Reserve said the central bank should launch a fresh round of monetary stimulus immediately, buying bonds for as long as it takes to produce a steady decline in the jobless rate.
Investors will get a fresh read on the likelihood of a new round of Fed quantitative easing on Friday, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at an annual gathering of policymakers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.