CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips to 3-month low on weak U.S. jobless claims

Thu Apr 4, 2013 5:23pm EDT

* TSX falls 59.07 points, or 0.48 percent, to 12,363.05
    * Seven of 10 main sectors decline
    * Dominion Diamond climbs after quarterly sales rise

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
slumped to its lowest in more than three months on Thursday, led
by declines in energy and financial shares, as weak U.S. jobless
claims numbers revived concerns about the health of the world's
biggest economy.
    The benchmark Canadian index, which recorded its biggest
one-day percentage decline in more than nine months on
Wednesday, fell for the fourth straight session amid a spate of
negative economic news in recent days.
    Data showed that the number of Americans filing new claims
for unemployment benefits hit a four-month high last week,
suggesting the labor market recovery lost some steam in March.
 
    "The market is like a hot air balloon. You've got to keep on
pumping in hot air to make it go up," said Luciano Orengo,
portfolio manager with Manulife Asset Management.
    "The recovery story in the United States is not dead," he
said. "You're seeing the economy take a bit of a breather."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 59.07 points, or 0.48 percent, at
12,363.05, after reaching 12,338.32, its lowest point since Dec.
31, 2012.
    The Canadian market's weakness was in contrast to the gains
made by U.S. stocks.
    "The big picture thesis is that it's a story mostly about
Canada," said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director,
institutional equity research, CIBC World Markets. "Global index
managers are reducing their exposure to Canada."
    Wednesday's decline put the TSX in the red for the year.
That is typically a rule of thumb for fund managers to pull
back, Mokhtari said.
    Seven of the market's 10 main sectors were in the red on
Thursday.
    The energy group gave back 1.9 percent as oil prices
declined. Suncor Energy Inc fell 3 percent to C$29.28.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, slipped 1.3
percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost 1.5 percent to
C$60.39. 
    But the materials sector, which includes gold and base metal
mining stocks, gained 1.7 percent.
    Shares of gold miners jumped more than 2 percent as
investors nervously eyed major monetary policy moves. Aggressive
actions by central banks often support gold producers.
    The Bank of Japan on Thursday unleashed the world's most
intense burst of monetary stimulus, promising to inject about
$1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years, a radical
gamble that sent the yen reeling. 
    Yamana Gold Inc added 3.5 percent to C$14.42.
    In company news, Toronto-based Dominion Diamond Corp
, formerly Harry Winston Diamond Corp, reported late on
Wednesday an increase in fourth-quarter sales on rising demand
in the United States, China And India. The stock climbed 4.7
percent to C$16.67. 
    Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd said it had discovered
a second leak at the site of Wednesday's derailment in northern
Ontario and estimated that about 400 barrels of crude oil had
escaped in total. CP shares fell 0.7 percent to C$121.67.
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