CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as China data weighs on sentiment

Fri Jan 3, 2014 10:52am EST

* TSX falls 35.30 points, or 0.27 percent, to 13,557.89
    * Seven of 10 main sectors decline
    * CP Rail climbs after entering sale deal

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped
on Friday, led by declines in financial and energy shares, as
weak economic data from China weighed on investor sentiment.
    A government survey showed that growth in China's services
sector dropped to a four-month low in December as business
expectations slipped, adding to figures released earlier this
week indicating sluggishness in the country's manufacturing
industry. 
    After recording a 9.6 percent gain in 2013, the Toronto
market declined for a second straight session.
    "We're getting this confluence as investors weigh the
incoming economic data against some of the portfolio decisions
that need to be made after an exceptionally strong year that we
saw in 2013," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at
Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. 
    Fehr, who expects the Chinese economy to stabilize over
time, said the Canadian benchmark index should record solid
growth this year. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 35.30 points, or 0.27 percent, at 13,557.89
on Friday.
    Investors realize the need to readjust their expectations at
the start of the year after the TSX's robust performance in
2013, its best since 2010.
    "It's a good reminder that investors should put things in
perspective, make sure that their expectations are appropriately
set," Fehr said. 
    "A year like 2013 skews what investors should be expecting
from not only equities, but from a balanced portfolio," he
added. "2014 is about readjusting expectations."
    Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red in
the session.
    Energy shares were pulled lower by a drop in the price of
U.S. crude oil. 
    Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 0.8 percent to
C$35.07, and Suncor Energy Inc declined 0.6 percent to
C$36.57.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were
down 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's
biggest lender, gave back 0.5 percent to C$71.25, having the
biggest negative influence on the market.
    In corporate news, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd said
late on Thursday it would sell the western part of its Dakota,
Minnesota & Eastern Railroad to U.S.-based Genesee & Wyoming Inc
 in a deal worth about $210 million. CP shares advanced
0.5 percent to C$160.19.
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