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CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady amid mixed economic signals

* TSX down 8.25 points at 12,382.98

* Six of 10 sectors positive; energy weighs

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday, as signs the global economic slowdown may be worsening was offset by better-than-expected U.S. data and hopes that Spain will eventually request financial aid.

Energy shares were the biggest drag, down 0.9 percent. U.S. crude dropped more than $2, hit by weak data from Europe and China.

Canadian Natural Resources

was the most influential decliner, down 2.2 percent to C$30.50. Suncor Energy

lost 0.7 percent to C$32.71 and Cenovus Energy

fell 1.7 percent to C$34.65.

On the upside, financials - which included the country's dividend-paying banks - were among the lead gainers, with Royal Bank of Canada

up 0.2 percent to C$56.97.

"The market is trying to find direction and so far there isn't any particular direction, so I say buy for income," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at Scotia McLeod.

"When you want to know what to do and you don't know what to do, get paid to wait, and dividends are the pay that you get to wait."

At 10:46 a.m. (1446 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index

was off 8.25 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,382.98.

Six of the 10 sectors were stronger as the index drifted between positive and negative territory.

Trading will likely continue be choppy as investors remain uncertain about when Spain will request a bailout for its public finances and when the global economic picture will get decidedly rosier.

In the United States, the vast U.S. services sector picked up in September and the U.S. private sector created more jobs than expected.

Meanwhile, the latest data from surveys of purchasing managers' activity across the euro zone and China showed the growth outlook has not improved, despite the best efforts of central banks to stimulate their economies.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((claire.sibonney@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 416 941 8142)(Reuters Messaging: claire.sibonney.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: CANADA MARKETS/STOCKS