TSX notches seventh straight weekly loss

Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:19pm EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index tumbled on Friday, snapping a two-day rally and ending its seventh consecutive week lower as a flare-up in global growth concerns hit fragile investor confidence.

Data showed that China's economy expanded 8.1 percent in the first quarter, a rate that was slower than expected and the country's weakest pace in nearly three years.

In addition, the cost of insuring Spanish debt against default hit 500 basis points for the first time on fears about the high exposure of the country's banking sector to sovereign debt.

All 10 sectors were down, but financials made up four of the top five heaviest decliners. Among the most influential laggards, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) was down 2.2 percent to C$54.10, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was off 1.9 percent to C$81.95, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) lost 1.7 percent to C$55.88 and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) dropped 3.4 percent to C$12.94.

"Today was a down day from the get-go. Part of the problem is that we have had a bit of a shift in investor attention," said Pat McHugh, Canadian equity strategist at Manulife Asset Management.

"Before this week, we had kind of left Europe and China and had gone to the U.S. and we had focused on the U.S. for quite some time and of course a lot of money had been made ... people are just taking profits."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 174.26 points, or 1.43 percent, at 12,040.39. All 10 sectors were negative. The index ended the week down 0.5 percent, its seventh straight weekly loss.

The TSX is down 0.7 percent so far this year as growth-sensitive resource shares have lagged heavily.   Continued...

People walk by a sign displaying TSX information in Toronto, August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch