CANADA STOCKS-Miners and banks hit TSX after weak factory data

Mon Dec 3, 2012 5:03pm EST

* TSX falls 69.62 points, or 0.57 percent, to 12,169.74
    * Goldcorp tumbles 3.7 percent, leading market decline
    * Saputo up 3 percent after announcing U.S. acquisition

    By John Tilak and Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on
Monday, led lower by gold mining and financial stocks, after
weak U.S. and Canadian manufacturing data raised doubts about
the economic outlook.
    U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in November,
falling to its lowest level in more than three years in a sign
that the sector may be struggling to gain traction, a report
from Institute for Supply Management said. 
    "It's the ISM numbers. That is a concern, given how
important the health of the U.S. economy is to Canada," said
Gavin Graham, president of Graham Investment Strategy.
    Canadian manufacturing growth slowed for a fifth straight
month in November and hit a more than two-year low, according to
the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index.
 
    U.S. talks on avoiding the "fiscal cliff" also weighed on
the market, given that there did not appear to be a keen desire
to compromise, Graham added.
    Failure to reach a deal would trigger a combination of U.S.
government spending cuts and tax increases in early 2013 that
could tip the economy back into recession.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 69.62 points, or 0.57 percent, at
12,169.74. Seven of the 10 main sectors declined.
    The index had earlier hit an intraday high at 12,252.27, its
highest point since Nov. 7, after investors reacted to economic
data from China that pointed to the giant Asian economy
regaining its vigor after seven straight quarters of slowing
growth. 
    The Toronto index's materials sector, which includes the
mining stocks, was down 1.7 percent. Goldcorp Inc tumbled
3.7 percent to C$37.29, and Barrick Gold Corp, fell 2.6
percent to C$33.59, playing the biggest role of any two stocks
in leading the market lower.
    On Monday, Newmont Mining Corp, the world's No.2
gold producer, said Chief Executive Richard O'Brien will step
down on March 1, making it the third major gold miner to
announce the departure of its CEO this year. 
    Financials, the biggest sector in the Canadian index, also
weighed. Bank of Nova Scotia shed 0.7 percent to
C$55.61, and Bank of Montreal dropped 0.6 percent to
C$59.29.
    One of the only sectors to advance was consumer staples, up
0.9 percent, led higher by dairy products maker Saputo Inc
 after it said it will buy a U.S. competitor.  Saputo's
shares rose 3 percent to C$47.41.
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