Ukraine fears escalate, pull TSX lower

Tue May 6, 2014 5:27pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Tuesday as worries about increasing violence in Ukraine raised fears that the conflict could be have a broader impact and fueled declines in almost every major sector.

Ukraine appeared to be inching closer towards war, with supporters of Russia and of a united Ukraine accusing one another of tearing the country apart.

Data that showed a narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit in March failed to bring much comfort. And Canada's trade surplus plummeted to C$79 million ($72 million) in March from C$847 million in February.

The Toronto market, which is up about 7.3 percent this year, slipped for a second straight session.

"The geopolitical factors are playing a big role today," said Atul Tiwari, managing director of Vanguard Investments Canada, a unit of Vanguard Group, which manages more than $2.8 trillion in global assets.

"There's a lot of uncertainty and unknowns involved, and markets generally don't like that," he said, adding investors were worried the instability could spread to the entire region.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 84.74 points, or 0.58 percent, at 14,612.29.

Tiwari said sentiment was positive for Canadian equities.   Continued...

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