TSX steady as lackluster data, earnings drag

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:19pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed little changed on Tuesday as sluggish economic data from China, Germany and the United States revived concerns about the global recovery.

Lackluster earnings reports from some Canadian companies also weighed down investor sentiment.

The latest Purchasing Managers' Indexes for the euro area showed business activity in Germany shrank for the first time in five months in April, while China's April HSBC flash PMI fell. Also, U.S. manufacturing grew at its most sluggish pace in six months as domestic demand dried up. <MKTS/GLOB>

The resource-heavy index, which is sensitive to global growth trends because of their impact on commodity prices, was up for the fourth straight session, but is down about 3 percent on the year.

"The market‘s got this rally going, but we don't think we're out of the woods yet," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management. "There is probably another 2 to 3 months of pullback to occur."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 0.26 of a point at 12,090.94.

Last week, the index posted its second-biggest weekly decline of the year, triggered by a rout in commodity prices, including the biggest single-day drop in gold prices ever.

"Commodities are under pressure," said Kevin Headland, director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management. "The Asian growth story that we're seeing is slower than we're used to."   Continued...

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