CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as China data hits bank, energy stocks

Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:32am EST
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* TSX falls 17.28 points, or 0.12 percent, to 13,970.92
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * RBC has biggest negative influence on index

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
dropped on Thursday after sluggish manufacturing data from China
disappointed the market and dragged on shares of financial and
energy companies.
    A big jump in gold-mining shares, buoyed by a 1.4 percent
gain in the price of bullion, failed to arrest the slide.
    Data showed that activity in China's factory sector dropped
in January for the first time in six months. China's Flash
Markit/HSBC purchasing managers index fell to a 49.6 reading in
January from December's 50.5. 
    "It's quite discouraging to see the flash PMI back under
50," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets
Canada, who sees a market correction taking place.
    "Not only is China not rebounding, but it looks like it may
continue to struggle for some time into this year," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 17.28 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,970.92.
    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. Royal Bank of Canada slipped 1.2
percent to C$71.67 and had the biggest negative influence on the
index. Bank of Nova Scotia lost 0.8 percent to C$64.10.
    Energy shares stumbled 0.1 percent, with Enbridge Inc
 shedding 0.2 percent to C$47.15.
    Shares of gold producers advanced 4.1 percent. Barrick Gold
Corp added 4.3 percent to C$21.71, and Goldcorp Inc
 rose 4.5 percent to C$26.77.