CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls with miners on weak global data
* TSX down 49.24 pts, or 0.4 pct, at 11,615.47 * Mining shares hurt by weak global data * Stimulus hopes fade ahead of Fed, ECB meetings By Jon Cook TORONTO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as mining shares slid on weak global manufacturing data, but losses were limited by hopes of more stimulus from central banks in the United States and Europe ahead of key policy meetings this week. Canada's heavily-weighted materials sector, which includes miners, fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday as manufacturing data -- at home and abroad -- revealed global demand weakened last month. The euro zone's manufacturing sector contracted for the 11th straight month in July, while China's official factory purchasing managers' index fell to an eight-month low of 50.1 in July, suggesting the sector is barely growing. In Canada, the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index posted its first decline in six months, slipping to 53.05 in July from 54.85 a month earlier. "There is concern that the world economy is slowing," said John Hughes, senior mining analyst at Desjardins Securities. "We've seen commodity prices tick down on the back of the economic data that came out this morning." Declines were led by gold miners as bullion fell below $1,600 an ounce on Wednesday ahead of policy statements by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Goldcorp Inc fell 3.5 percent to C$34.97, Barrick Gold sank 2.2 percent to C$32.29 and Kinross Gold dropped 3.2 percent to C$8.11. Around 11:10 a.m. EDT (1510 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 49.24 points, or 0.4 percent, at 11,615.47. Slowing growth in the United States had fired up hopes of stimulus measures from the Fed late last week. However, chances of this seemed lower after recent supportive data, including higher home prices and improved consumer confidence. However, while overall expectations of concrete solutions from the Fed and the ECB have dimmed, some optimism remained in global markets due to ECB President Mario Draghi's statement last week that the central bank would do whatever it takes to save the euro. "The ECB is much more important in terms of trying to find some stability in Europe," said Hughes. "The market appears to be taking a bet on the outcome of both those meetings and it's willing to bet more on the downside." Canadian financial shares slid 0.4 percent, led by top life insurers. Manulife Financial Corp -- Canada's largest life insurer -- was down 1.6 percent to C$10.60. Intact Financial Corp tumbled 3.7 percent to C$62.10, despite the property and casualty insurer reporting a 90 percent jump in operating profit for the second quarter on Wednesday. In other earnings news, shares of Catamaran Corp jumped 3.5 percent to C$88.11 after the pharmacy benefit manager, formerly known as SXC Health Solutions, reported a 27 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday.
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