CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as weak China, Europe data hits resources
* TSX down 66.99 points, or 0.54 percent, at 12,369.50 * Manufacturing data hurts oil, base metals * Lululemon rises after results; offers weaker outlook By Jennifer Kwan TORONTO, March 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's resource-heavy stock index sank o n T hursday morning, mirroring the performance of global stock markets, as weak Chinese and euro zone manufacturing data sparked concerns about slowing global economic growth. Chinese manufacturing slumped for a fifth month in March and the euro zone economy is showing new signs of wilting, according to surveys on Thursday that pointed to weakening global demand. That soft manufacturing picture helped to push down oil and base metals prices, as well as broader global equity markets. In Toronto, big names on the downside included Canadian Natural Resources, lower by 2.8 percent at C$34.00, and Suncor Energy, which fell 0.9 percent to C$32.75. Base metals miner Quantum Minerals sank 3.3 percent to C$19.08 and Teck Resources fell 1.6 percent to C$35.14. "The overseas China and euro zone PMIs have been a major driver with the disappointing contracting readings. That's overshadowed another drop in U.S. jobless claims," said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics. Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits dropped to a four-year low last week. The report added further evidence the jobs market recovery was gaining traction. At around 10:10 a.m. (1410 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 66.99 points, or 0.54 percent, at 12,369.50. Seven of the TSX index's 10 main sectors fell. In individual company news, shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. rose 1.1 percent to C$74.33 after the yoga-wear retailer said fourth quarter profits rose smartly and sales in established stores jumped 26 percent, while revenue overall climbed 51 percent. But it also offered a disappointing full-year profit outlook and said its margins narrowed. Air Canada, down 2.4 percent at 83 Canadian cents, was in the spotlight as Quebec's government said on Wednesday it was considering taking legal action against both Air Canada and the federal government to keep operations going at the Montreal facility that services the airline's planes.
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