CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends at 2-week low after IMF warning

Tue Oct 9, 2012 5:16pm EDT
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* TSX ends down 145.42 points, or 1.2 pct, at 12,273.57
    * All 10 sectors lower in broad decline

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index marked
its lowest close in almost two weeks on Tuesday, tracking a
sell-off in world equity markets after the IMF said the global
economic slowdown is worsening.
    All 10 of the index's sectors fell on a wave of negative
signals, including the stark warning from the IMF as it cut its
growth forecasts for the second time since April and warned U.S.
and European policymakers that failure to fix their economies'
ills would prolong the slump. 
    Commodity and financial shares were among the hardest hit.
Barrick Gold sank 3.7 percent to C$39.60, Goldcorp Inc
 lost 3.9 percent to C$43.45, and Manulife Financial 
 fell 3 percent to C$11.95.
    "I think the IMF (report) is what people are paying
attention to. But it struck me as being a little bit late ...
current economic news coming out of the U.S. has been a little
bit better rather than worse," said Ian Nakamoto, director of
research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
    Other news from Europe also kept investors on edge as
uncertainty about when Spain will apply for a bailout worried
markets, as did concerns about Greece's debt load.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 145.42 points, or 1.17 percent, at
12,273.57. It was its weakest close since Sept. 26.
    Looking ahead to Wednesday, investors are expected to take
their cue from U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Inc, which
kicked off earnings season after Tuesday's market close. Alcoa's
third-quarter results beat Wall Street estimates even though it
reported a net loss. 
    Technology shares will also be in the spotlight after
brokerage downgrades of Intel and other major companies. 
    Analysts forecast third-quarter earnings of S&P 500 
companies will drop 2.3 percent from the year-earlier quarter,
according to Thomson Reuters data, which would be the first drop
in U.S. quarterly earnings in three years.
    "I think people should expect, at best, flat year-over-year
earnings for the third quarter," said Pat McHugh, Canadian
equity strategist at Manulife Asset Management.
    "The economic cycle began in the middle of 2009, so we're in
our third year now. At this stage of the economic cycle,
earnings don't grow fast, earnings tend to slow down, profit
margins have rolled over."
    In other company news, Research In Motion tumbled
5.5 percent to C$7.62 after an analyst warned that the company's
make-or-break line of new BlackBerry smartphones is unlikely to
hit store shelves until March, weeks later than investors had