TSX stumbles on China, Ukraine worries

Mon May 5, 2014 4:43pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped on Monday as disappointing economic data from China and violence in Ukraine spurred declines in almost every major sector.

A private survey showed a fall in Chinese manufacturing sector activity for a fourth consecutive month in April, renewing concerns about whether the world's second-biggest economy will be able to sustain its pace of growth.

Also rattling the market was news that pro-Russian rebels shot down a Ukrainian helicopter in fierce fighting near the eastern town of Slaviansk.

Despite Monday's weakness, the Canadian benchmark is up about 8 percent this year as natural resource shares have rallied.

"The TSX has been on a real roll of late, so today it's a little bit of a giveback," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"China is one concern that is weighing on the day," he added. "If there's any hint of sustained weakness in China, it does cause some nervousness here."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 68.12 points, or 0.46 percent, at 14,697.03.

Investors can expect greater volatility in the coming months even as the TSX moves higher, Picardo said. "It's getting to the point where investors have to be a little cautious about the downside risk."   Continued...

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