CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as BlackBerry jump offsets dip in miners

Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:42am EDT

* TSX rises 11.70 points, or 0.09 percent, to 12,847.31
    * Six of 10 main sectors decline
    * BlackBerry shares up nearly 10 pct on U.S. launch plans

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Monday as declines in mining shares following
weak economic data from China were offset by a jump in
BlackBerry and gains in financials.
    BlackBerry shares gained nearly 10 percent after U.S.
wireless carrier AT&T Inc said it would start selling the
highly anticipated BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone to
customers by March 22, with early sales of the long-delayed
devices to begin on Tuesday. 
    "Given what we've seen with the product's acceptance in
other parts of the world, the U.S. should probably follow suit,"
said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory
group, at Manulife Asset Management. "They (BlackBerry) might be
able to steal some market share back."
    BlackBerry's stock climbed to C$14.71.
    By late morning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was up 11.70 points, or 0.09 percent,
at 12,847.31 after opening lower. Six of the 10 main sectors on
the index were in the red.
    Investors also tracked data from China that showed inflation
at a 10-month high in February, and that factory output and
consumer spending were weaker than forecast. Imports were also
surprisingly weak, falling 15.2 percent from a year earlier to
13-month lows and highlighting vulnerability in the economy.
 
    "With weaker imports, that's a reflection that perhaps
they're entering into a stage of destocking, or the economic
activity continues to moderate," Petursson said.
    "The marginal demand for commodities comes from China," he
added. "If we start to see that demand slow down, that will have
a negative impact on commodity prices and, as such, a negative
impact on commodity producers."
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was the
biggest drag on the index, down 0.3 percent. Barrick Gold Corp
 fell 1.2 percent to $C29.42.
    The energy sector slipped 0.1 percent, with Encana Corp
 losing 1.1 percent to C$19.70.
     Financials, the index's weightiest sector, added 0.3
percent, with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.5 percent at
C$62.74.
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