TSX hits one-month low as euro zone concerns resurface

Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:08am EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slumped to a one-month low on Wednesday, led by declines in financial and energy shares, as weak economic data from the euro zone and worries about the Cyprus bailout weighed on investor sentiment.

The losses were tempered by gains made by gold-mining stocks, benefiting from a jump in the price of bullion, whose appeal as a safe haven tends to increase on negative economic news.

Confidence in the euro zone's economy dropped in March, falling after four straight months of gains, the European Commission said.

"Most parts of Europe show signs of an accelerating downturn," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management. "I haven't seen anything that gives me a strong degree of confidence in the European economies."

"There's lots of confidence building, but at the end of the day the economies actually have to heal."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 48.41 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,657.97. It earlier fell to 12,622.50, its lowest level since February 27.

Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Financials, the index's weightiest sector, lost almost 1 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) gave back 1.1 percent to C$60.77, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell 1 percent to C$83.86.   Continued...

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