CANADA STOCKS-TSX off 10-month high, energy weakness offsets RIM jump

Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:56pm EST

* TSX up 0.91 of a point at 12,603.09
    * Index hits highest point since March 2012
    * RIM jumps on BlackBerry 10 hopes

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
finished short of a 10-month high on Monday as investor optimism
for Research In Motion Ltd shares over the upcoming
launch of its BlackBerry 10 devices was offset by falling energy
shares.
    Weakness in the materials sector, which includes mining
stocks, also added pressure, while volatile oil prices were a
drag on the energy sector. The two heavyweight sectors kept an
otherwise positive index in check.
    RIM shares extended a 13-percent gain made on Friday. The
stock added 10.44 percent to C$14.70 and helped the information
technology sector gain 2.48 percent. 
    "The investor confidence is brought about simply because of
hope, and hope that the new BlackBerry 10 is going to be an
answer to their prayers," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity
trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
    "There has been some talk that this is a revival of RIM.
We'll have to wait and see," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 finished little changed, up a 0.91 of a point, or 0.01
percent, at 12,603.09. Earlier, it touched 12,636.68, its
highest since March 5, 2012.
    The index, which marked its fifth consecutive day of gains,
swung back and forth between positive and negative territories
in choppy trade.
    "There's a lot of indecisiveness out there. People don't
really know which way to go and you're getting these markets
that aren't really doing much of anything," said Julie Brough,
vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.
    Investors kept a close watch on the U.S. debt ceiling talks,
seen as a significant catalyst for the markets, with hopes that
a compromise will be reached. "There is reasonable optimism that
it would be resolved," Brough said.
    The energy sector was down 0.5 percent, with Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd slipping 1.81 percent to C$29.26
and Talisman Energy Inc falling 2.64 percent to
C$11.78. Oil prices were volatile, with Brent crude rising to
$112 on supply concerns. 
    Encana Corp shares dropped 2.31 percent to C$19.05
after the surprise resignation of the chief executive officer of
Canada's largest natural gas producer. 
    The three energy companies were the three biggest drags on
the index.
    Materials stocks, home to mining firms, was down 0.3 percent
amid a slew of deals within the sector.
    Miner Alamos Gold Inc said it will buy Aurizon
Mines Ltd for about C$780 million ($793 million) in
cash and stock to get access to Aurizon's only operating gold
mine, Casa Berardi, in northern Quebec. Aurizon shares jumped 34
percent to C$4.57, while Alamos Gold fell 11.94 percent to
C$14.90. 
    Russia's state uranium firm agreed to pay $1.3 billion to
take Canada's Uranium One Inc private, as the successor
to the Soviet Union's nuclear industry seeks to strengthen its
grip on supplies. Uranium One's stock rose 14.52 percent to
C$2.76. 
    In other company news, shares of Harry Winston Diamond Corp
 rose 4.41 percent to C$14.90 on the company's plans to
sell its high-end watches-to-necklaces division to Swatch Group
in a $750 million cash deal that expands the Swiss watchmaker's
luxury offering and lets the Canadian group concentrate on its
diamond mines.
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