CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops on China data; gold miners dive

Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:53am EDT

* TSX falls 30.13 points, or 0.21 percent, to 14,305.63
    * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Gold-mining shares drop more than 2 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock fell on
Monday as sluggish Chinese economic data raised fears of a
slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy, while weaker
gold-mining shares also weighed on investor sentiment.
    Shares of gold producers fell with the price of bullion
after the U.S. dollar advanced. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index was lower after
recording a 0.8 percent gain the previous week. It is still up
more than 5 percent this year.
    A survey showed that China's manufacturing industry
contracted in the first quarter of 2014, adding to a slew of
recent data indicating the Chinese economy, a big buyer of
Canadian resources, is struggling to maintain growth.
 
    "You can't grow at 10 percent forever," said Colin
Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.
    "There are some risks in China," he added. "Over the longer
term you'd expect growth in China to moderate." 
    Cieszynski said he expects U.S. economic growth to help
drive gains in Toronto and take the benchmark index to 15,000 by
the end of the year. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 30.13 points, or 0.21 percent, at 14,305.63.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were lower.
    Gold-mining shares dropped more than 2 percent, hurt by a
1.4 percent fall in the price of bullion. Barrick Gold Corp
 lost 2.5 percent to C$21.21, and Goldcorp Inc 
gave back 2.4 percent to C$29.14.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia was up 0.3 percent at
C$65.06, and Toronto-Dominion Bank advanced 0.3 percent
to C$51.69.
    Shares of energy producers were up following a gain in the
price of oil. Suncor Energy Inc climbed 0.7 percent to
C$36.60.
    ($1=$1.12 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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