CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as miners' gains offset by losses in oil shares

* TSX down 9.82 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,445.22
    * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Athabasca tumbles as it awaits PetroChina payment

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, July 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Monday as a decline in shares of energy
producers, as oil prices dropped, neutralized strength in mining
    While signs of increasing supply and sluggish demand played
the biggest role in driving down the price of crude oil,
investors also kept an eye on the volatile situation in the
Middle East. 
    With rising international pressure for a long-lasting
ceasefire, Israel toned down its offensive in the Gaza Strip and
Palestinian rocket fire declined. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index eased from the
record high it hit the previous session as investors braced for
a wave of economic data this week. It is still up about 13
percent this year, but analysts say gains will now be harder to
come by.
    "I share the assertion that the easy money has been made.
One needs to be cautious at these levels," said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver. 
    "You can say without a shadow of a doubt that the
risk/reward is not as attractive as it was two years ago when
the TSX was foundering."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 9.82 points, or 0.06 percent, at
15,445.22. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the
    Among oil and gas companies, Suncor Energy Inc gave
back 0.5 percent to C$45.34 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 lost 1.3 percent to C$48.15. The energy sector was down
0.8 percent.
    Shares of Athabasca Oil Corp tumbled 6.8 percent to
C$6.41 after the company said it was still trying to collect
C$1.23 billion ($1.14 billion) owed to it by a unit of
PetroChina. Athabasca's stock had the biggest
percentage decline on the index. 
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, added
0.6 percent. Teck Resources Ltd climbed 1.7 percent to
C$25.79, and Goldcorp Inc advanced 0.7 percent to
    Smartphone maker BlackBerry dropped 3.3 percent to
    ($1=$1.08 Canadian)

 (Editing by Bernadette Baum; and Peter Galloway)