CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2012 low as growth fears sting

Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:59pm EDT
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* TSX ends down 83.21 points, 0.7 percent, at 11,935.29
    * Hits lowest since Dec. 30, negative ground for 2012

    By Claire Sibonney	
    TORONTO, April 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
tumbled on Tuesday to its lowest level in 2012 and turned
negative for the year on a resurgence of fears about slowing
global growth, pressuring investors to exit riskier assets. 	
    Among the most influential decliners, Suncor Energy 
fell 2.1 percent to C$29.68, Royal Bank of Canada lost
1.1 percent to C$55.95 and Bank of Nova Scotia slipped
1.2 percent to C$54.38.	
    Signs of a cooling U.S. recovery after Friday's release of
disappointing data on jobs creation in March and the euro zone's
festering debt crisis fueled a view of tepid global growth,
stoking safety bids for gold as well as U.S. and German
government debt. 	
    Meanwhile, data showed Chinese imports undershot
expectations, growing 5.3 percent on the year in March -
consistent with other data suggesting soggy domestic demand in
the first quarter of the year. 	
    "That's the perfect troika ... growth concerns in Europe,
the U.S. and China as well. The China fact has been lingering
for a while, it certainly has had an impact on commodity prices
here," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice-president of
research at Global Securities in Vancouver. 	
    "Investors are also taking their cue from what happened in
the last couple years. The month of May sparked significant
selloffs in both 2010 and 2011, so it does feel like investors
are trying to jump the gun."	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 83.21 points, or 0.69 percent, at
11,935.29, bringing the index into negative territory, off 0.2
percent, year to date. Earlier, the TSX hit a trough of
11,868.97, its weakest level since Dec. 30.	
    "There's this sneaky feeling that perhaps in March the
markets were too optimistic in their assessment of the U.S.
economic recovery and the nonfarm payrolls on Friday kind of
knocked that down and now we're trying to re-establish some sort
of a footing," said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian
Bank Securities. 	
    Industrial issues also weighed, as shares of Canadian
National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway 
fell 2.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, after the latest
industry data indicated a slight North American rail traffic
decline on the back of weakness in coal and agricultural product
    Investors were also expected to take their cue from the
start of earnings season south of the border. Dow component
Alcoa Inc climbed 5.4 percent to $9.82 in extended
trading after the aluminum maker reported its quarterly results.
    Among the bright spots on the index were gold miners, up 2.1
percent, as bullion prices climbed, with the sharp losses in
equities triggering safe-haven buying. 	
    Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.2 percent to C$41.71 and
Goldcorp Inc added 1.8 percent to C$41.65.	
    Base-metal miners also rallied 2.6 percent amid chatter of a
takeover of First Quantum Minerals, which jumped 8.8
percent to C$21.11.	
    Rumors emerged last week in Britain that the miner might be
a target for Rio Tinto, Glencore, or other
diversified miners.