* TSX falls 58.46 points, or 0.48 percent, to 12,180.90
* Goldcorp tumbles 3.1 percent, leading market decline
* Saputo up 3.5 percent after announcing U.S. acquisition
By John Tilak and Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Dec 3 Canada's main stock index fell on
Monday, led lower by gold mining and financial stocks, after
weak U.S. and Canadian manufacturing data raised doubts about
the economic outlook.
U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in November,
falling to its lowest level in over three years in a sign the
sector may be struggling to gain traction, a report from
Institute for Supply Management said.
"It's the ISM numbers. That is a concern, given how
important the health of the U.S. economy is to Canada," said
Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy.
Separately, Canadian manufacturing growth slowed for a fifth
straight month in November and hit a more than two-year low,
according to the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers
U.S. talks on avoiding the "fiscal cliff" also weighed on
the market, given that there did not appear to be keenness to
compromise, Graham added.
Failure to reach a deal will trigger a combination of U.S.
government spending cuts and tax increases in early 2013 that
may tip the economy back into recession
At mid-afternoon, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 58.46 points, or 0.48
percent, at 12,180.90. Nine of the 10 main sectors declined.
Earlier, the index opened higher and hit 12,252.27, its
highest point since Nov. 7, after reacting to economic data from
China that pointed to the giant Asian economy regaining its
vigor after seven straight quarters of slowing growth.
The Toronto index's materials sector, which includes the
mining stocks, was down nearly 1 percent. Goldcorp Inc
tumbled 3.1 percent to C$37.51, and Barrick Gold Corp,
fell 1.7 percent to C$33.91, playing the biggest role of any two
stocks in leading the market lower.
On Monday, Newmont Mining Corp, the world's No.2
gold producer, said chief executive Richard O'Brien will step
down on March 1, making it the third major gold miner to
announce the departure of its CEO this year.
Financials, the biggest sector on the Canadian index, were
down 0.5 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia shed 0.8 percent
to C$55.57, and Royal Bank of Canada dropped 0.4 percent
The only sector on the index to advance was consumer
staples, up 0.8 percent, led higher by dairy products maker
Saputo Inc after it said it will buy a U.S. competitor.
Saputo's shares rose 3.5 percent to C$47.64.