TSX falls on weak global data, gold miners cushion the blow

Mon Jan 4, 2016 4:51pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday, weighed down by financial, consumer and industrial stocks as a slump in Chinese shares and weak economic data spooked investors in the first session of 2016.

The index fell for the fourth straight session, although dropping less than many other major markets as gold stocks rallied. It follows an 11 percent loss in 2015, its worst year since the global financial crisis of 2008.

"China had the big sell-off and that's kind of rolled through the rest of the markets around the world," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.

Weak economic data was the primary factor driving markets lower, according to Cieszynski, while the spike in Middle East tensions compounded matters.

Data revealed disappointing factory activity in China, the United States and Canada for December.

The heavily weighted financial services sector was the biggest drag on the market, falling 1.3 percent.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) fell 1.5 percent to C$73.04, and Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO: Quote) declined 3.1 percent to C$42.31.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 82.8 points, or 0.64 percent, to 12,927.15, with eight of the index's 10 main groups in negative territory.   Continued...

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch