CANADA STOCKS-Ukraine fears escalate, pull TSX lower

Tue May 6, 2014 4:50pm EDT
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* TSX down 84.74 points, or 0.58 percent, at 14,612.29
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors decline
    * BCE, WestJet drop after reporting results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped
on Tuesday as worries about increasing violence in Ukraine
raised fears that the conflict could be have a broader impact
and fueled declines in almost every major sector.
    Ukraine appeared to be inching closer towards war, with
supporters of Russia and of a united Ukraine accusing one
another of tearing the country apart. 
    Data that showed a narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit in
March failed to bring much comfort. And Canada's
trade surplus plummeted to C$79 million ($72 million) in March
from C$847 million in February. 
    The Toronto market, which is up about 7.3 percent this year,
slipped for a second straight session.
    "The geopolitical factors are playing a big role today,"
said Atul Tiwari, managing director of Vanguard Investments
Canada, a unit of Vanguard Group, which manages more than $2.8
trillion in global assets.
    "There's a lot of uncertainty and unknowns involved, and
markets generally don't like that," he said, adding investors
were worried the instability could spread to the entire region.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 84.74 points, or 0.58 percent, at
    Tiwari said sentiment was positive for Canadian equities.
    He is also seeing increasing momentum in the Canadian ETF
market. Tiwari added that internal data indicated strong inflows
into U.S. equities as investors chase returns from U.S. stocks,
which had a better year than Canadian equities in 2013. 
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the Canadian index were in
the red on Tuesday.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave
back 0.5 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank was down 0.6
percent at C$51.90, and Bank of Montreal lost 0.4
percent to C$75.01.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, shed 0.8
percent. Potash Corp slipped 0.6 percent to C$39.38.
With the price of bullion falling, Barrick Gold Corp 
fell 0.7 percent to C$18.97.
    In corporate news, BCE Inc reported a
better-than-expected adjusted profit, helped by the inclusion of
TV and radio content producer Astral Media and strong growth in
its wireless business. But the stock gave back 0.9 percent to
    WestJet Airlines Ltd dropped 2.2 percent to C$24.42
after the carrier reported quarterly results. 

 (Editing by Andrew Hay and Nick Zieminski)