CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops to near three-week low as U.S. gov't stays shut

Thu Oct 3, 2013 4:55pm EDT

* TSX falls 103.88 points, or 0.81 percent, to 12,735.12
    * All 10 main index sectors decline
    * Suncor has biggest negative influence on index
    * Takeover target BlackBerry drops 3.6 percent
    * Valeant gains after drug, contact-lens approvals

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped
on Thursday to its lowest in nearly three weeks as negative
sentiment caused by the extended U.S. government shutdown helped
offset upbeat economic data from China.
    Every major sector on the index was trading in the red,
taking the Toronto market into negative territory for a second
straight session.
    Investors also cast an eye on BlackBerry, which is
the focus of a $4.7 billion bid from a consortium led by Fairfax
Financial. Shares of the smartphone maker shed 3.6
percent.
    Data showed rising demand caused activity in China's
services sector to expand at the fastest pace in six months in
September but failed to lift sentiment. 
    The focus of the market remained the U.S. government
shutdown, which dragged into a third day, highlighting the
political gridlock in Washington over the debt crisis.
    "The market would suggest that they think this would
ultimately get resolved," said Paul Hand, managing director at
RBC Capital Markets. "But minute-by-minute people do feel
uncertainty."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 103.88 points, or 0.81 percent, at
12,735.12, after reaching 12,700.02, its lowest since Sept. 13. 
    About 254 million shares changed hands on Thursday, compared
with an average daily volume of 304 million shares in September,
according to market operator TMX Group.
    The TSX will likely make some gains and end the year around
13,400 as the U.S. debt woes ease and sentiment for Canadian
equities improves, Hand said. 
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
Thursday.
    Shares of energy producers fell 1.1 percent, weighing the
most of any major sector. 
    Suncor Energy Inc lost 1.5 percent to C$36.25 and
had the biggest negative influence on the index. Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd gave back 1.4 percent to C$31.78.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped
1.4 percent. Potash Corp was down 0.6 percent at
C$33.69, and Teck Resources Ltd declined 2 percent to
C$27.32.
    BlackBerry slipped to C$7.97, taking the information
technology sector down 1.4 percent.  
    But Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc 
climbed 1.4 percent to C$114.91 after the drugmaker won
regulatory approval for a topical nail fungus drug in Canada and
clearance for a new contact lens in the United States.
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