CANADA STOCKS-TSX stumbles to 2-month low on US, Europe fears

Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:59pm EST

* TSX ends down 56.80 points, or 0.5 pct, to 12,134.66
    * Resources, financial shares lead decline
    * Shoppers Drug Mart up 3.5 percent on results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
slipped to a two-month low on Tuesday, dragged down by resource
and financial shares as investors dwelled on fears of a fiscal
crisis in the United States and more debt turmoil in Europe.
    Concern over whether U.S. politicians would be able to reach
a deal to tackle the "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax
increases that threatens to push the economy into recession
continued to dampen sentiment, as did a new controversy over
Greece's debt crisis. 
    "The main thing hanging over the market right now is the
fear of what's happening in the macroeconomy, whether it's
Europe or the fiscal cliff in the United States or slower
activity in China," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung
Investment Management.
    "All this feeds into the Canadian market through worries
about what's going to happen to energy prices or commodity
prices."
    Oil prices fell for a second day in a row on concerns about
lower demand. 
    Suncor Energy was the biggest contributor to the
index's decline, falling 2.5 percent to C$32.55. The energy
sector, one of the biggest on the index, was down 0.7 percent.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 56.80 points, or 0.47 percent, at
12,134.66. Earlier in the session it fell as low as 12,124.35,
its weakest level since Sept. 6.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, fell 0.9
percent, hurt by falling commodity prices. 
    Barrick Gold Corp was down 1.3 percent at C$35.34
and fellow miner Goldcorp Inc fell 1.1 percent to
C$42.93. U.S. gold futures were down in late-day trade.
 
    "The falling commodity prices are more than offsetting the
increase in production we're seeing across the resource sector.
They are having a very large impact on stock prices," said Craig
Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis,
Missouri.
    "By and large, the markets are going to be in a wait-and-see
mode as we progress towards the end of the year," he said.
    Some financial stocks declined, with Toronto-Dominion Bank
 falling 0.4 percent to C$80.36, and Manulife Financial
Corp down 1.2 percent at C$12.15. The index's financial
sector was down 0.3 percent.
    Shares of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp jumped 3.3 percent
to C$42.46 after the pharmacy chain reported higher quarterly
sales. 
    Quebecor Inc  gained 1.8 percent to
C$35.90 after the Canadian media and telecommunications
conglomerate said it was cutting 500 jobs in its Sun Media unit
as the business struggles with declining advertising revenue and
weak circulation. 
    Canadian department store chain Sears Canada lost
5.7 percent to C$11.76 after reporting a quarterly loss on lower
sales. 
    Of the 73 percent of TSX companies that have reported third
quarter results so far, 48 percent have met or beat expectations
while 52 percent have missed, according to Thomson Reuters
StarMine data.