CANADA STOCKS-TSX stumbles as Fed pullback looms

Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:15am EDT
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* TSX falls 53.20 points, or 0.42 percent, to 12,585.90
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * TD Bank has biggest negative influence on index
    * Telecoms providers gain on report of Verizon delay

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
dropped on Thursday, with declines in almost every major sector,
as concern resurfaced that the U.S. Federal Reserve might be
about to reduce its massive bond-buying stimulus program.
    The weakness was limited by gains in the telecommunications
sector after a report that U.S. giant Verizon Communications Inc
 might delay its entry to Canada. The report lifted
Canada's dominant wireless players: Rogers Communications Inc
, Telus Corp and BCE Inc.
    Investors interpreted positive U.S. economic data on
Thursday as a sign that the wind-down of the Fed stimulus
program might be drawing near. Figures showed that the number of
Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to a near
six-year low last week and consumer prices rose broadly in July.
    "The numbers that came in today hurt the market," said John
Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
    "It's not a question of if but when," he said of the timing
of a Fed pullback. "There's no consensus other than the fact
that it's going to happen."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 53.20 points, or 0.42 percent, at 12,585.90.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave
back 0.8 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank lost more than 1
percent to C$86.34 and had the biggest negative influence on the
index. Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.6 percent to C$63.58.
    The industrials group slid 1.1 percent, with Canadian
National Railway Co down almost 1 percent at C$100.24.
    Energy producers were down 0.2 percent, with advances in oil
prices and in the shares of Suncor Energy Inc limiting
the weakness.
    Suncor, whose shares rose 1.5 percent to C$34.28, benefited
from a regulatory disclosure showing Berkshire Hathaway Inc
 had taken a new stake in Canada's biggest energy
    Telecoms stocks, the only major sector in positive
territory, jumped 3.4 percent. Telus gained 5.4 percent to
C$32.40, Rogers was up 4.9 percent at C$42.40, and BCE climbed
to 1.9 percent to C$42.56.