CANADA STOCKS-Gripped by China fears, TSX skids to 10-month low
* TSX falls 206.63 points, or 1.67 percent, to 11,795.03 * All main index sectors decline * Gold-mining shares drop with bullion price * BlackBerry climbs 3.7 percent By John Tilak TORONTO, June 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dived to its lowest level in more than 10 months on Monday as worries about the Chinese economy hit commodity prices and pulled down shares of gold and energy producers. The market, which was roiled last week by the U.S. Federal Reserve's plans to tighten monetary policy, was on track to record one of its biggest single-day percentage falls this year. Worries about a crisis in the Chinese banking system and the ability of the country to deal with a slowing economy have intensified. Those concerns pulled oil prices to a three-week low and caused the price of bullion to drop almost 1 percent. The Canadian market, with its large exposure to materials and energy stocks, has been reacting sharply to news out of China, a major destination for resource exports. "Investors are very nervous about China," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management. The weakness in commodity prices suggests "there's a bigger slowdown than people expect in China". Canadian investors in general see no clear direction, he added. "You're invested in a financial system that's based off monetary policy, you're watching your yield securities plunge, and your equity portfolios don't give much comfort." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 206.63 points, or 1.67 percent, at 11,795.03, after reaching 11,759.04, its lowest level since August 2012. Every major sector on the index was in the red. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gave back 3.5 percent, with gold-mining stocks falling 3.9 percent. Barrick Gold Corp fell 5.5 percent to C$16.72. The miner plans to lay off up to a third of its corporate staff at its headquarters in Toronto and other offices, sources told Reuters. Goldcorp Inc stumbled 4.5 percent to C$24.44. Energy shares lost 2.5 percent, tracking the price of oil. Suncor Energy Inc was down 2.5 percent to C$30.03, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd dropped 2.9 percent to C$28.53. Units of Inter Pipeline Fund tumbled 38 percent to C$14.21. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were down 0.3 percent. But smartphone maker BlackBerry, which will report quarterly earnings later this week, added 3.7 percent to C$14.89.
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