CANADA STOCKS-TSX skids to near 7-week low on growth fears

Tue Mar 6, 2012 4:44pm EST
 
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* TSX slides 225.32 points, or 1.8 pct, to 12,298.63

* Index touches lowest level since Jan. 18

* Nine of 10 main sectors finish lower

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index skidded to its lowest level in nearly seven weeks on Tuesday, rattled by fears that the global growth outlook is darkening and Greece may not be able to complete a major debt restructuring deal.

The resource-heavy index joined global markets in a sharp retreat on concerns about the outlook for the global economy. The European Union said on Tuesday a collapse in household spending, exports and manufacturing deflated the euro zone's economy in the final months of 2011.

Data also showed Brazil's gross domestic product expanded by a meager 2.7 percent in 2011, adding to concerns after China cut its growth outlook the day before. Expected growth in emerging markets has been a major impetus for recent equity gains.

The global jitters helped send the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index down 225.32 points, or 1.8 percent - its steepest one-day percentage loss so far this year - to 12,298.63. Earlier, it hit 12,249.85, its weakest level since Jan. 18.   Continued...