U.S., China data drag TSX to one-month low

Mon Feb 3, 2014 4:51pm EST
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped to a one-month low on Monday as weak economic data from China and the United States made investors more circumspect about the global economic recovery, sending shares in every major sector lower.

A report showed that the U.S. manufacturing industry grew at a much slower pace in January as new order growth plunged by the most in 33 years, pulling overall factory activity to an eight-month low.

Separate data indicated Chinese service sector growth slowed, hitting a five-year low, with the country's factory sector weak in January. Investors have been nervous about the prospects for a slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy, a concern that has been weighing on other emerging markets.

Upbeat signals out of Europe failed to offset the negative sentiment. Euro zone business surveys indicated that factories recorded their strongest month since mid-2011 in January, helped by improved hiring and a rebound in Germany.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index, which recorded a monthly gain in January, was down for a second straight session.

Monday's drop was among the benchmark index's sharpest declines in months and took the TSX to negative territory for the year.

"The conventional signal is one of caution. Investor confidence is desperately seeking for anything positive," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management. "But every time investors see volatility, they head to the sidelines.

"We don't know whether the global growth is for real or slipping," he added. "Things like volatility, anxiety and jitters are climbing."   Continued...

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