CANADA STOCKS-Bank results, Fed concerns drag TSX to six-week low

Thu Dec 5, 2013 11:32am EST
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* TSX falls 65.16 points, or 0.49 percent, to 13,239.76
    * All of 10 main index sectors decline
    * RBC, TD drop after results
    * Barrick down slightly after board reshuffle

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped
on Thursday to a six-week low after results from the country's
major banks weighed on the financial sector and positive U.S.
economic data raised fears of a scaling back of monetary
stimulus by the Federal Reserve. 
    Shares of Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion
Bank fell after Canada's two biggest lenders reported
quarterly results. RBC also said Chief Executive Officer Gordon
Nixon would step down next summer after 13 years in his
    The Toronto market slipped for a third straight session,
with every major sector on the index trading in negative
    After a lull in recent weeks, investors were back to
speculating when the Fed could begin rolling back its bond
buying program, a process commonly known as the taper.
Thursday's data, which followed a string of positive U.S.
numbers this week, only strengthened the case that a reduction
in bond-buying could be imminent.
    A report showed the U.S. economy grew faster than initially
estimated in the third quarter as businesses accumulated stock.
    "We have found ourselves back in this mode, where we have
lived in and out of for a year, and that is the interpretation
of economic data as it relates to the implications for the Fed,"
said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in
St. Louis, Missouri. 
    "(The data) suggests the economic picture in the U.S. is
improving," he added. "We'll get this 'will they, won't they'
type of approach in the market until the Fed actually does
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 65.16 points, or 0.49 percent, at 13,239.76,
after reaching 13,226.47, its lowest since Oct. 23.
    Fehr expects the TSX to record solid growth in 2014, helped
by contributions from the natural resource sectors. The
benchmark is up about 7 percent this year.
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
Thursday with financials, the index's most heavily weighted
sector, down 0.7 percent. RBC lost 0.8 percent to C$68.49, and
TD gave back 1.6 percent to C$94.20. 
    RBC's quarterly profit rose 11 percent, the country's
largest lender said, while TD said its quarterly profit rose 1.6
percent, missing expectations. TD also announced a 2-for-1 stock
    But Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce edged higher
to C$90.20 despite reporting that its quarterly profit slipped
1.9 percent, with one-time charges offsetting a rise in retail
and wealth management income.
    The price of bullion tumbled, weighing on shares of gold
miners. Goldcorp Inc shed 2.7 percent to C$22.32, and
Barrick Gold Corp stumbled 0.4 percent to C$16.65.
    Barrick addressed some investor demands for a more
independent board on Wednesday, and replaced two directors close
to its departing founder with a pair of mining industry experts.
    Dollarama Inc posted a 20 percent rise in profit
due to higher sales and new store openings, but the results fell
short of expectations. The stock was down 2.4 percent, at