TSX falls on global growth fears

Mon Jul 9, 2012 5:14pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday, led by mining and energy shares, on doubts a meeting of euro zone ministers would accomplish much and after weak Chinese data stoked fears about global growth.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE touched a July low during the session.

Weaker-than-expected Chinese inflation data, combined with a soft U.S. jobs report on Friday, raised concerns the global economy is hitting a soft patch. <MKTS/GLOB>

While markets slid, however, commodity prices rose on expectations that Beijing would act to avoid a hard landing of the world's second-largest economy. Still, investors were cautious before a report due later in the week on China's gross domestic product, which is likely to show the weakest expansion in three years.

"There's a bit of a divergence that's under way," said Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist at Pension Partners LLC in New York. "That may be because of this feeling that what seems to be the aggressive policy steps that China is taking may start to cause a pick-up in demand for commodities."

Most of Canada's 10 main sectors were in the red on Monday. Leading the way were the materials and energy groups, which both fell 0.6 percent.

Teck Resources TCKb.TO was the biggest single drag, tumbling 2.6 percent to C$31.08 after the copper miner said on Monday it has temporarily withdrawn the environmental assessment application for its expansion at the Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile.

Other resource companies which fell included top gold producer Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), which slid 0.5 percent to C$37.36, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote), down 2.8 percent at C$18.11, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), off 0.7 percent to C$29.16, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which sank 1 percent to C$26.32.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch