* TSX falls 208.74 points, or 1.52 percent, to 13,486.20
* All of 10 main index sectors decline
* Manulife has market's biggest negative influence
* Teck slips after miner reports spill
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 3 Canada's main stock index dropped
to a one-month low on Monday as weak economic data from China
and the United States made investors more circumspect about the
global economic recovery, sending shares in every major sector
A report showed that the U.S. manufacturing industry grew at
a much slower pace in January as new order growth plunged by the
most in 33 years, pulling overall factory activity to an
Separate data indicated Chinese service sector growth
slowed, hitting a five-year low, with the country's factory
sector weak in January. Investors have been nervous about the
prospects for a slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy, a concern
that has been weighing on other emerging markets.
Upbeat signals out of Europe failed to offset the negative
sentiment. Euro zone business surveys indicated that factories
recorded their strongest month since mid-2011 in January, helped
by improved hiring and a rebound in Germany.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index, which recorded
a monthly gain in January, was down for a second straight
Monday's drop was among the benchmark index's sharpest
declines in months and took the TSX to negative territory for
"The conventional signal is one of caution. Investor
confidence is desperately seeking for anything positive," said
Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management.
"But every time investors see volatility, they head to the
"We don't know whether the global growth is for real or
slipping," he added. "Things like volatility, anxiety and
jitters are climbing."
Mastracci, who sees the Canadian market's performance tied
closely to the health of the U.S. economy, said investors should
use the dip to pick away at quality assets.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 208.74 points, or 1.52 percent, at
13,486.20, after falling to as low as 13,450.31, its weakest
level since Dec. 24.
All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave
back 1.3 percent. Manulife Financial Corp lost 4.5
percent to C$19.62 and had the biggest negative influence on the
index. Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.6 percent to C$68.50.
A fall in the price of oil weighed on energy shares. Suncor
Energy Inc shed 2.6 percent to C$35.64, and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd declined 1 percent to C$36.15.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped
Teck, whose shares fell 1.9 percent to C$26.29, said it was
investigating another spill at its Trail smelting complex in
British Columbia. It said it does not expect the incident to
have a long-term impact on fish or the environment.
In other corporate news, BCE Inc said 22,421 small
business customers' user names and passwords were posted online
over the weekend after an unnamed third-party supplier was
hacked. The stock shed 1.5 percent to C$46.06.