CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips on stimulus fears, sluggish data

Thu May 23, 2013 4:46pm EDT

* TSX down 94.41 points, or 0.74 percent, at 12,658.09
    * All 10 main sectors decline
    * TD Bank falls after results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dipped
on Thursday as fears the U.S. Federal Reserve will dial back its
bond-buying program and pessimism following sluggish economic
data from China and Europe fueled declines in all major sectors.
    Weakness in Toronto-Dominion Bank further weighed on the
market after the country's No. 2 lender reported earnings
slightly below expectations. 
    Investors were nervous after 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 U.S. central bank's
"next few meetings" if the economy looked set to maintain
momentum. 
    The benchmark Canadian index, which tracked weak global
markets, eased from gains made in the previous four sessions.
    "It's the fallout of Ben Bernanke's testimony," said Gavin
Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management.
"That's the first concrete suggestion that maybe they'll reduce
the bond buying program."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 94.41 points, or 0.74 percent, at
12,658.09.
    "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. 
    All of the 10 main sectors in the index were in the red.
    Shares of energy producers fell 0.6 percent. Suncor Energy
Inc, Canada's largest energy company, was down 0.6
percent at C$32.32. 
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, lost
0.4 percent. TD Bank gave back 0.5 percent to C$83.65.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was down
0.9 percent despite a rise in shares of gold companies.
    Miner Teck Resources Ltd fell 4.3 percent to
C$28.20, and fertilizer giant Potash Corp slipped 2.1
percent to C$43.01.
    Among other active stocks, Nordion Inc jumped 11.6
percent to C$8.16 after the major provider of isotopes used in
medical imaging said it will sell its targeted therapies
division.
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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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