TSX down one percent in broad selloff, BlackBerry surges

Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:46pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell sharply on Wednesday, coming off the 19-month high it reached a day earlier, as investors fled heavyweight energy, bank and mining stocks, while BlackBerry (BB.TO: Quote) helped offset the losses after announcing a big order.

In a distinct break from the performance of U.S. stock markets, the resources-rich Canadian index posted a broad decline as commodity prices slipped and some of the country's big banks weighed heavily.

Power Financial Corp (POW.TO: Quote) fell 3.2 percent to C$26.53 after the family-controlled holding company's profit fell on disappointing results at its mutual fund and insurance units.

"There is some disappointment about Power's numbers, which were not especially inspiring," said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy. "But it's very largely the golds and the materials."

The index's materials sector, which includes gold miners, has retreated some 15 percent this year, and its members were again among the heaviest weights on Wednesday. Among them, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) fell 2.5 percent to C$33.12 and Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO lost 2 percent to C$30.98.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 134.47 points, or 1.04 percent, at 12,744.11. That was its sharpest one-day move in either direction since November.

The selloff followed a steady rise since a mid-November trough, though the TSX has underperformed U.S. indexes over the period. The S&P 500 .SPX, Nasdaq .IXIC and Dow .DJI all eked out minor gains on Wednesday. .N

"We've come a long way. The stock market can't go up every single day," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.   Continued...

People attend a market open ceremony for the Toronto Stock Exchange at the TSX Broadcast Centre in Toronto June 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch