CANADA STOCKS-Bank results, Fed concerns drag TSX to six-week low
* TSX falls 65.16 points, or 0.49 percent, to 13,239.76 * All of 10 main index sectors decline * RBC, TD drop after results * Barrick down slightly after board reshuffle By John Tilak TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped on Thursday to a six-week low after results from the country's major banks weighed on the financial sector and positive U.S. economic data raised fears of a scaling back of monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve. Shares of Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank fell after Canada's two biggest lenders reported quarterly results. RBC also said Chief Executive Officer Gordon Nixon would step down next summer after 13 years in his position. The Toronto market slipped for a third straight session, with every major sector on the index trading in negative territory. After a lull in recent weeks, investors were back to speculating when the Fed could begin rolling back its bond buying program, a process commonly known as the taper. Thursday's data, which followed a string of positive U.S. numbers this week, only strengthened the case that a reduction in bond-buying could be imminent. A report showed the U.S. economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter as businesses accumulated stock. "We have found ourselves back in this mode, where we have lived in and out of for a year, and that is the interpretation of economic data as it relates to the implications for the Fed," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. "(The data) suggests the economic picture in the U.S. is improving," he added. "We'll get this 'will they, won't they' type of approach in the market until the Fed actually does something." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 65.16 points, or 0.49 percent, at 13,239.76, after reaching 13,226.47, its lowest since Oct. 23. Fehr expects the TSX to record solid growth in 2014, helped by contributions from the natural resource sectors. The benchmark is up about 7 percent this year. All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on Thursday with financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, down 0.7 percent. RBC lost 0.8 percent to C$68.49, and TD gave back 1.6 percent to C$94.20. RBC's quarterly profit rose 11 percent, the country's largest lender said, while TD said its quarterly profit rose 1.6 percent, missing expectations. TD also announced a 2-for-1 stock split. But Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce edged higher to C$90.20 despite reporting that its quarterly profit slipped 1.9 percent, with one-time charges offsetting a rise in retail and wealth management income. The price of bullion tumbled, weighing on shares of gold miners. Goldcorp Inc shed 2.7 percent to C$22.32, and Barrick Gold Corp stumbled 0.4 percent to C$16.65. Barrick addressed some investor demands for a more independent board on Wednesday, and replaced two directors close to its departing founder with a pair of mining industry experts. Dollarama Inc posted a 20 percent rise in profit due to higher sales and new store openings, but the results fell short of expectations. The stock was down 2.4 percent, at C$85.05.
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