* TSX up 7.56 pts, or 0.06 pct, at 12,362.03
* Energy gains offset by Greek bailout doubts
* Global data, China comments boost sentiment
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Feb 15 Canadian stocks ended
little changed on Wednesday as fears of oil supply disruptions
and some encouraging U.S. economic data boosted energy issues,
but the gains were limited by reports that Greece's debt bailout
may be delayed.
Oil and gas producers kept Toronto's main index in positive
territory, rising 0.5 percent after Brent crude hit a six-month
high near $120 a barrel on concern about reduced supplies from
Iran, other Middle East producers and Africa.
Talisman Energy led the sector's gains, jumping
nearly 5 percent to C$13.13 after the independent oil explorer
said it would cut spending in its largest shale gas production
zone to cope with depressed natural gas prices.
Gainers were tempered by Cenovus Energy Inc, whose
shares slipped 1.3 percent to C$38.08 after its fourth quarter
profit failed to match expectations and it again extended the
search of a joint-venture partner for a northern Alberta oil
Overall gains were sparse as doubts re-emerged about
Greece's long-awaited second bailout after a report that euro
zone officials were considering delaying the rescue package
until after Greece holds elections in April.
The new doubts offset better than expected GDP data from
Germany and France and comments by China's central bank governor
that the world's No. 2 economy would play a bigger role in
solving Europe's debt problems.
"If they can just improve it from being a crisis situation
to a chronic condition, that would be tremendous progress," said
Stephen Wood, chief investment strategist for North America at
Russell Investments in New York.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up just 7.56 points, or 0.1 percent, at
12,362.03 in thin trade.
Despite the modest gain, six of the TSX's 10 main sectors
were lower. The influential materials and financial sectors were
flat as miners and banks were hit by investor uncertainty over
the euro zone's debt crisis.
Miner Teck Resources skidded 1.3 percent to
C$38.48, as copper slid for a fourth consecutive session.
Royal Bank of Canada slipped 0.3 percent to C$53.46.
The Greek drama was enough to keep many nervous investors on
the sidelines as any delay would endanger Athens' ability to
finance 14.5 billion euros ($19 billion) in bond redemptions due
"The volumes are speaking to the uncertainties that are out
there," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital
Markets. "It looks like we're avoiding the doomsday scenarios at
the moment, but there's still not a lot of enthusiasm."
Offering some support to the market was a key gauge of U.S.
manufacturing, which showed activity in New York state picked up
in February to its highest level in more than 1-1/2 years.
"There's a slight, but measurable upward bias in the new
data," said Wood.