* TSX ends down 74.08 points, or 0.58 percent, at 12,639.97
* Six of 10 main sectors decline
* Bombardier shares lose 9 percent after results
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 21 Canada's benchmark stock index
dropped to a five-week low on Thursday, led by energy and
financial shares, as a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. weekly
jobless claims and surprisingly weak euro zone economic data
Bombardier Inc was also a major drag on the
market. Its shares fell about 9 percent after the plane maker
reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit.
"There is a bit of worry creeping into the market. I
wouldn't be surprised if the market was to take a pause here or
pull back even," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung
The market could slip as much as 10 percent in the event of
a correction, he added.
Strategists have said the Canadian stock market could be set
for a near-term pullback after a rally that took it to 18-month
highs, with resource shares seen as especially vulnerable.
"There is a bit of pessimism," said Irwin Michael, portfolio
manager at ABC Funds. "The market has had a nice run."
Canadian shares followed U.S. and global stocks lower after
a raft of U.S. data, from claims for jobless aid to factory
activity and consumer prices, pointed to slow economic growth.
Euro zone purchasing managers' data for February pointed to
continued weakness in that region.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 74.08 points, or 0.58 percent, at
12,639.97. It earlier touched 12,602.54, its lowest point since
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Energy shares slipped 1.2 percent, with oil prices falling
to a three-week low on the macroeconomic concerns.
Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest energy company,
fell 1.5 percent to C$31.52, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
slipped 1.9 percent to C$29.99.
Financials, the index's weightiest sector, were down 0.5
percent. Royal Bank of Canada gave back 0.8 percent to
C$63.96 and played the biggest role of any one stock in pulling
the market lower.
The sharp drop in Bombardier shares, which closed at C$3.89,
was a drag on the industrials group. The sector slipped 1.7
In other company news, Tim Hortons Inc shares fell
nearly 3 percent to C$49.30 after the retailer said customer
traffic in its established Canadian coffee shops dropped for a
third consecutive quarter.