July 12, 2010 / 8:55 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX goes flat as U.S. earnings season starts

* TSX slips 0.04 percent to end at 11,565.76

* Six sectors fall

* Potential earnings surprises sideline investors (Updates to close)

TORONTO, July 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed marginally lower on Monday, flattening out as wary investors sat on their hands and braced for any surprises that may come as the U.S. earnings season starts.

The index spent the day in a 104-point range as investors looked ahead to second-quarter earnings results from U.S. companies, with Alcoa Inc (AA.N) reporting after the bell.

A weak run of economic data has raised speculation the economic recovery may be losing momentum.

“It’s all about the guidance, hints about hiring or if they see stronger sales,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

“As for today, the word is lacklustre, a fairly narrow range vis-a-vis what we’ve seen recently.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE slipped 4.69 points, or 0.04 percent, to end at 11,565.76. Six of the index’s 10 sectors were lower.

Prices of key resources were soft on Monday, with oil settling below $75 a barrel following three straight advancing sessions. That sent shares of Talisman Energy TLM.TO down 0.18 percent to C$16.54, while Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO lost 1.6 percent to C$27.16.

Copper prices fell after China reported a drop in copper imports for the third straight month in June, casting a shadow on the demand outlook and pushing the index’s materials group down 0.66 percent. [MET/L]

Teck Resources TCKb.TO fell 3.29 percent to C$34.43, while Inmet Mining IMN.TO lost 2.5 percent to C$46.06.

$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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