CANADA STOCKS-TSX stumbles as commodities pull back

Fri Oct 5, 2012 3:46pm EDT
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* TSX down 41 points, or 0.3 pct, at 12,406.68
    * Energy and materials fall; financials edge up

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index backed
away from its highest level in nearly three weeks on Friday as
concerns about weakness in the global economy hurt commodity
prices, countering unexpectedly strong North American jobs data.
    U.S. crude oil futures settled down nearly $2 a barrel as
signs this week of the slowing manufacturing and services
sectors in Europe and China continued to weigh on investor
    Energy stocks followed suit, falling 0.9 percent. The
biggest laggards included Canadian Natural Resources,
down 1.4 percent to C$30.28, Suncor Energy, down 0.8
percent to C$32.88 and Encana Corp, off 2.5 percent to
    "Concerns remain about the outlook for global growth,
particularly demand out of high consumption emerging markets
like China, so we've gotten a little bit of weakness there,"
said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in
St. Louis.
    "Added to that is a strengthening U.S. dollar and all that's
coming together to push oil prices lower. Given the sensitivity
to resource prices in the TSX we're seeing a little bit of
weakness there," he added.
    Gold miners were also down sharply, off 1.1 percent, as
bullion retreated from an 11-month high. 
    Yamana Gold dropped 2.9 percent to C$18.65, Barrick
Gold fell 0.8 percent to C$41.04 and Kinross Gold
 lost 2.5 percent to C$10.61.
    At 3:28 p.m. (1928 GMT), Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 41.00 points, or 0.33
percent, to 12,406.68. Eight of the 10 sectors were negative.
Financials edged up 0.1 percent. Earlier, the index its
strongest intraday level since Sept. 17.
    Better-than-expected employment data from Canada and the
United States helped stem the losses.
    In Canada, the economy added 52,100 jobs in September, more
than five times the consensus figure analysts had expected, and
bolstering the Bank of Canada's case for an eventual interest
rate rise. 
    Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped
to 7.8 percent in September, reaching its lowest level since
President Barack Obama took office and providing a boost to his
re-election bid. 
    On Monday, Canadian markets will be closed for Thanksgiving,
while U.S. government offices and some financial markets will
close for the Columbus Day holiday, prompting some investors to
stay on the sidelines.
    "Quite often on the Friday before a long weekend there's
some selling coming into the market because people don't want to
carry positions for three days," said John Kinsey, portfolio
manager at Caldwell Securities.