CANADA STOCKS-TSX stumbles as banks weaken on Cyprus fears

Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:07am EDT

* TSX falls 60.64 points, or 0.47 percent, to 12,765.91
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Lululemon shares up 0.6 percent after results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
lower on Thursday as anxiety about the possibility of a debt
default and banking meltdown in Cyprus spurred weakness in
financial shares 
    Providing some support, however, were stronger manufacturing
data from China and the U.S. Federal Reserve's recommitment on
Wednesday to its ongoing stimulus program.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 60.64 points, or 0.47 percent, at 12,765.91.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, were down nearly
1 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest
bank, slipped 1 percent to C$60.70, and Toronto-Dominion Bank
 fell 1.1 percent to C$83.39.
    The index's materials sector, which includes mining stocks,
gained 0.5 percent, helped by a 1.3 percent rise in gold miners.
Safe-haven buying pushed the price of gold to three-week highs.
 Barrick Gold Corp added 1.3 percent to C$29.96,
and Goldcorp Inc climbed 1.2 percent to C$33.99.
    The crisis in Cyprus revived questions about the economic
health of the broader euro zone and brought into focus the risks
investors face there.
    The European Central Bank gave Cyprus until Monday to raise
billions of euros to clinch an international bailout or face
losing emergency funds for its banks. 
    "If this goes down to the wire, there is some risk to the
markets," said Stan Wong, vice president and portfolio manager
at Macquarie Private Wealth. "Being a little cautious and
holding some cash would make some sense."
    He added, however, that Cyprus was "a $7.5 (billion) to $10
billion problem. It's a relatively small economy." 
    In company news, Lululemon Athletica Inc said it
expected earnings to drop in the current quarter, hurt by a
recall of its workout pants. It also reported results for the
quarter ended Feb. 3 that came in slightly ahead of forecasts.
Shares of the yogawear retailer were up 0.6 percent at C$65.75.
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