* TSX down 11.05 pts, or 0.1 pct, at 12,509.97
* Financials fall on Manulife earnings
* Miners lifted by higher gold, copper prices
* Greek bailout deal lifts sentiment
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Feb 9 Canada's main stock index
was little changed at midday on Thursday as losses among
financial issues offset gains in mining shares after Greek
leaders clinched a highly anticipated debt deal.
Greece's agreement to adopt new austerity measures was
expected to pave the way for a 130 billion euro ($172 billion)
aid package that may help it avoid a disorderly default that
would spillover into global financial markets.
The Greek breakthrough, however, failed to rally Canadian
stocks as investors remained nervous about the overall state of
the euro zone economy and focused on some weak corporate
"The market is confused because there are so many cross
currents going on out there," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker
at Brant Securities.
At noon (1700 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 11.05 points, or 0.1 percent,
Financial issues dragged on the index as Manulife
Financial's shares fell 1 percent to C$11.98 after
Canada's biggest life insurer reported a quarterly loss, citing
the weaker global economy and losses from lower interest rates.
It also said chief financial officer Michael Bell would step
The drag of low interest rates on Manulife's results seemed
unlikely to end soon. On Thursday, the European Central Bank
held rates at a record low, seeing tentative signs of economic
stabilization, but policymakers suggested rates could yet fall.
Last month, the Bank of Canada said it would hold its main
interest rate at 1 percent until 2013. The U.S. Federal Reserve
recently extended its rate freeze until late 2014.
The telecommunications services sector was hurt by weak
earnings from BCE Inc, whose shares tumbled 2 percent
to C$40 after Canada's largest telecommunications company
reported a quarterly profit that fell short of forecasts. BCE
said price competition during the holiday season and costs
related to its Internet-based TV product weighed on its results.
Nearly all of the TSX's top 10 main sectors were negative,
but the heavyweight materials group kept the index within
break-even range, up 0.2 percent on gains from miners.
Diversified miner Teck Resources was the biggest
riser, up 0.8 percent at C$41.09 after copper hit a five-month
high as the Greek deal strengthened the euro and made U.S.
dollar-priced metals cheaper for investors.
Barrick Gold was also among the leaders, climbing
0.3 percent to C$49.06 as bullion prices rose 1 percent,
piggybacking on the euro.
Gold is up more than 10 percent this year. The precious
metal has traditionally acted as a hedge against weakening
"These commodities are telling you the market is nervous
about the future of the (global) economy," Masionis said.