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A Canadian Natural Resources pump jack pumps oil out of the ground near Dorothy, Alberta, June 30, 2009. (© Todd Korol / Reuters/REUTERS)
A Canadian Natural Resources pump jack pumps oil out of the ground near Dorothy, Alberta, June 30, 2009. (© Todd Korol / Reuters/REUTERS)

At midday: TSX gains on energy sector Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was little changed Thursday as growing uncertainty about the future of the eurozone discouraged buyers.

The S&P/TSX composite ind ex edged up 11.18 points to 11,509.05 with traders also focused on Spain and Italy as the two countries felt the pressure of higher borrowing costs.

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 12.69 points to 1,256.57.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.46 of a cent to 97.62 cents US.

Traders seemed disinclined to make big moves on commodity markets as well.

The TSX gold sector was down about one per cent as August gold gave back $1.20 to US$1,618.20 an ounce. Goldcorp Inc. faded 51 cents to $40.57.

The tech sector fell almost two per cent with Research In Motion Ltd. down 55 cents at $10.45.

The base metals sector was down 0.5 per cent with July copper unchanged at US$3.33 a pound. Lundin Mining gave back 11 cents to $3.91.

The financials sector dipped 0.35 per cent, with Royal Bank shedding 31 cents to $50.68.

The energy sector was the biggest advancer, up 0.6 per cent with the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 10 cents at $82.72 U.S. a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources gained 22 cents to $27.34.

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday in a broad rally on hopes that results from Greek elections over the weekend would ease short-term worries about the country leaving the euro zone.

But trading was volatile as weak data in the U.S. labour market and rising bond yields in Italy and Spain continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 112.84 points, or 0.90 per cent, at 12,609.22. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 9.80 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 1,324.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 16.48 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 2,835.09.

The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge, was down 1.5 per cent to near 24, after soaring in the previous session.

Further weighing on market sentiment, Moody’s Investor Service cut its rating on Spanish government debt on Wednesday by three notches to Baa3, saying the recently approved euro zone plan to help Spain’s banks will add to the country’s debt burden.

The S&P is flat for the week as sharp drops have been partially offset by some equally strong rallies. So far in the second quarter, however, the index is down 5.9 per cent.

Nokia Corp plans to cut 10,000 more jobs and said its phone unit would post a deeper-than-expected loss in its second quarter because of tough competition. U.S.-listed shares plunged 17.2 percent to $2.31 U.S.

With files from The Associated Press

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