CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps as U.S. economic data, resources weigh
* TSX down 95.75 points, or 0.8 percent at 12,233.76 * Energy off 1.4 pct, materials down 1.4 pct * Pace of U.S. growth increases, but falls short of expectations * Commodity prices slip on U.S. data, but set for strong weekly gains By Solarina Ho TORONTO, April 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market fell on Friday as natural resources stocks slumped and market sentiment turned negative following U.S. economic growth data that fell short of expectations. The U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent rate, an increase from the fourth quarter, but shy of the 3 percent growth analysts were hoping for. The weaker-than-expected data in Canada's biggest trading partner weighed on Canadian stocks. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 95.75 points, or 0.8 percent at 12,233.76 late morning. All 10 of the index's key sectors were mired in negative territory. The financial subindex, which make up just over 30 percent of the main index's weight, was down 0.7 percent, led by Royal Bank of Canada, which topped the list of most influential losers. Shares were down 1.2 percent, at C$59.78. Energy stocks was down 1.4 percent, while the overall materials group, home to mining companies, shed 1.4 percent. Canadian Natural Resources followed, and was down 2.4 percent at C$29.49, while Transcanada Corp, which reported a 27 percent rise in first quarter profit, fell 1.9 percent at C$48.85. Suncor Energy gave back 1.4 percent to trade at C$29.19. Oil prices slipped on Friday, weighed by caution over the tepid growth outlook for the world's two largest oil consumers, the United States and China. Still, crude prices were on track for its biggest weekly gain since November. Copper prices fell on the disappointing U.S. data, following two days of gains, while gold prices, which were set for its biggest weekly gain in more than a year, was on pause. Base metal mining company First Quantum Minerals Ltd slid 3.6 percent to C$17.35. "We seem to be in a euphoria and then reality sets in and the fact is, the commodities continue to be top of mind. Even though they've recovered ... they can't gain any traction or momentum or any investor favor," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. "No question the market wants to see higher commodity prices and see them sustained at a higher level, until they get back in." Schwartz said prices of commodity stocks have disconnected from the underlying commodities they sell. "You can't force people to buy them, but some of the valuations are starting to look very, very attractive," he added.
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