CANADA STOCKS-Data pulls TSX lower as energy shares, banks slip

Mon Jun 3, 2013 5:23pm EDT

* TSX falls 40.62 points, or 0.32 percent, to 12,609.80
    * Eight of 10 main sectors decline
    * Gold shares gain 1.3 percent
    * Canadian Natural slips after analyst downgrade

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
slipped to its lowest in more than two weeks on Monday after
sluggish data raised concerns about half of the global economic
recovery and caused declines in the energy and financial
sectors.
    Weakness in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd,
following a downgrade of the stock by Goldman Sachs, also
weighed on the market.
    U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in May for the first
time in six months as new orders fell and there was less demand
for exports. Data also showed euro-zone manufacturing contracted
last month at a slightly slower pace, while Asian factories lost
momentum. 
    "Overall world growth is going to be quite slow, subject to
crises from one direction or the other," said David Cockfield,
managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth
Management. "We are probably in a period equivalent to the Great
Depression, that deleveraging phase, without a lot of the
suffering."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 40.62 points, or 0.32 percent, at
12,609.80, but earlier slipped to 12,570.91, its lowest since
May 17. 
    "There's not a lot of confidence. It's very nervous market,"
Cockfield said. "We're into a bit of the summer doldrums here." 
    "Money managers are absolutely terrified of being caught in
the market if it decides to sell off," he added
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    The weak data caused a slump in the price of the U.S.
dollar, triggering gains in the price of bullion, as investors
hunted for safe havens. 
     "The gold sector has bottomed," said John Ing, president of
Maison Placements Canada. "At long last even the gold stocks are
participating. That's always an encouraging sign."
    While the gold group has been hit the most this year,
falling about 31 percent, it climbed about 1.3 percent on
Monday.
    Barrick Gold Corp advanced 0.8 percent to C$21.96.
    Western Potash Corp fell as much as 12 percent
after the mining company sold a nearly one-fifth stake to a
joint venture of two Chinese companies, requiring a new issue of
shares. 
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
stumbled 0.2 percent. Bank of Montreal was down 1.1
percent, at C$60.70.
    Energy shares gave back 0.5 percent, thanks to the weakness
in Canadian Natural. The stock lost 2.1 percent to C$30.24 and
played one of the biggest roles in leading the market lower.
    The country's telecom watchdog said Canadians will be able
to cancel their cellphone contracts after two years without
penalty, instead of the three years that is the industry
standard now, under a new mandatory wireless code.
 
    As a result, the three biggest telecom providers fell. BCE
Inc lost 1.1 percent, Rogers Communications 
slipped 0.5 percent and Telus Corp gave back 0.9 percent.
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