* TSX index down 0.06 percent at 11,514.48
* Energy shares lead slide, but banks offset
* Bombardier jumps more than 7 pct on C-Series deal (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was slightly lower on Thursday morning as oil prices sagged on concerns about the global economy, but healthy bank earnings cushioned the index’s decline.
Energy shares were down 1.2 percent, pressured by sharply lower oil prices. Suncor Energy (SU.TO), which was among the weakest heavyweights, fell 2.28 percent to C$30, while Canadian Natural (CNQ.TO) was off 1.6 percent at C$70.18.
Soft U.S. economic data cast doubt on the pace of the global economic recovery, while Greece’s sovereign debt woes continued to weigh on investor sentiment. [ID:nN2597849] [ID:nN24204733] [ID:nTOE61O07J]
“There was a lot of positive economic news and now there’s more benign news. So the market is drifting,” said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
At 11:00 a.m. (1600 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was off 7.35 points, or 0.06 percent, at 11,514.48, rebounding from an earlier decline of nearly 1 percent. Six of the index’s 10 main groups were lower.
The financials group was one of the bright spots, up 0.6 percent, and helped to briefly lift the TSX into positive territory.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), kicked off the financial sector’s earnings season with firm growth in profits, raising the outlook for rivals’ profits next week. [ID:nN25244939]
All six big banks rose, with CIBC up 1.6 percent at C$68.93, while National gained 0.58 percent to C$58.95.
Bombardier (BBDb.TO) was also another active issue as the plane and train maker said it has signed a deal worth about $3 billion for its C-Series aircraft, one day after it signed a framework deal with French National Railways for a train contract that could be worth about $11 billion. Bombardier stock jumped more than 7 percent to C$5.89. [ID:nN25244487]
Market players were also on watch for U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s second day of congressional testimony. He repeated on Thursday that U.S. interest rates will have to stay low for a lengthy period to counter a weak job market. [ID:nWALPDE61U]
$1=$1.065 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson