TSX dips amid mixed economic signals

Wed Oct 3, 2012 4:48pm EDT
 
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended modestly lower on Wednesday, as signs of a worsening economic slowdown in China and Europe weighed on commodity prices and resource shares, offsetting better-than-expected U.S. data.

U.S. crude oil futures dropped more than 4 percent to under $88 a barrel, dragging energy shares down 1.1 percent.<O/R>

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was the most influential decliner, down 2.9 percent to C$30.28. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) lost 0.6 percent to C$32.74 and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote) fell 2 percent to C$34.53.

"I am actually pleasantly surprised to see how well the TSX is holding up," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice-president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver, noting energy shares were outperforming oil prices on Wednesday.

"There is a growing perception that there is a value in the sector. The multiples look attractive and I think it's positive that investors are trying to look beyond the day-to-day volatility in energy prices and they're focusing more on the sector fundamentals."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 31.76 points, or 0.26 percent, at 12,359.47.

Four of the 10 sectors drifted lower, including heavily-weighted materials, following a slightly firmer start.

Trading will likely continue be choppy as investors remain uncertain about when Spain will request a bailout for its public finances and when the global economic picture will get decidedly rosier.   Continued...

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