CANADA STOCKS-Stimulus rollback fears, TD trigger TSX slump

Thu May 23, 2013 11:25am EDT

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* TSX down 102.12 points, or 0.80 percent, at 12,650.38
    * Energy producers off 1.3 percent
    * TD falls 1 percent after results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
stumbled on Thursday, with every major sector in the red on
concerns about a quicker-than-expected end to the U.S. Federal
Reserve's stimulus program and sluggish economic data from China
and Europe.
    Weakness in Toronto-Dominion Bank further weighed on
the market after the country's No. 2 lender reported earnings
slightly below expectations. 
    TD Bank gave back 1 percent to C$83.22, was the worst
performer among Canada's six largest banks and key to driving
the market lower.
    Investors were nervous after U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
told Congress on Wednesday that a decision to scale back massive
bond buying each month could come at one of the central bank's
"next few meetings" if the economy looked set to maintain
momentum. 
    "We all know that at some point, the Fed's going to have to
do something to withdraw some of that liquidity they put in the
marketplace," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC
Funds.
    "It's a game of chicken," he added. "People are waiting to
find out when, and they will probably react in the short run."
    Other negative market factors included surveys showing
China's factory activity shrank for the first time in seven
months in May and that the euro zone economy was likely to
contract again in the second quarter. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 tumbled 102.12 points, or 0.80 percent, at 12,650.38.
    All of the 10 main sectors in the index were losers.
    Shares of energy producers fell 1.3 percent, reflecting
lower oil prices. Miner Teck Resources Ltd fell 4.3
percent to C$28.17. Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest
energy company, was down 0.6 percent, at C$32.31. 
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, lost
0.8 percent, led by TD Bank.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was down
0.5 percent despite a 1.4 percent rise in shares of gold
companies.
    Potash Corp slipped 2.1 percent to C$43.02.
    Among other active stocks, Nordion Inc jumped as
much as 11 percent after the major provider of isotopes used in
medical imaging said it will sell its targeted therapies
division.
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