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CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as Spain hopes not enough to drive rally

* TSX up 26.17 points, or 0.21 pct, at 12,396.36

* Nine of 10 sectors stronger, materials down

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed in choppy trade on Tuesday as enthusiasm on signs that a bailout request from Spain was imminent faded as investors awaited a new catalyst after a strong third quarter.

Gains in energy and financial shares was offset by weakness in materials issue.

Cenovus Energy was the most influential gainer, rising 2.3 percent to C$35.36. Canadian Natural Resources

climbed 1.7 percent to C$31.47 and Suncor Energy

advanced 0.5 percent to C$32.79.

Among the decliners, precious metal miners and fertilizer companies reversed some of the previous day's rally. Potash Corp

lost 2.6 percent to C$41.88 and Goldcorp Inc

was

down 0.8 percent to C$45.03.

"Frankly, we've been grinding higher now since early June, but the background news has been consistently the same. Queasiness in Asia about the growth and in Europe about ... debt issues and bank refinancing," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

At 10:49 a.m. (1449 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index

was up 26.17 points, or 0.21 percent, at 12,396.36. Nine of the 10 sectors were positive after the index briefly turned negative.

Earlier, markets were buoyed after European officials told Reuters on Monday that Spain was ready to request a euro zone bailout as early as next weekend though Germany has signaled that it should hold off.

The latest twist in the euro zone's three-year-old sovereign debt crisis comes as financial markets and some other European partners are pressuring Madrid to seek a rescue program that would trigger European Central Bank buying of its bonds.

The market has struggled to hang onto gains in the first couple sessions of the fourth quarter. The TSX finished the third quarter up more than 6 percent, as energy companies and miners benefited from a strong showing in crude and bullion prices.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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

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