CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls on weak U.S. data, Sino-Forest plunge

Fri Jun 3, 2011 11:41am EDT
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   * TSX down 26.93 points, or 0.2 percent to 13,492.57
 * Nine of the index's 10 main groups lower
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell
on Friday as disappointing U.S. jobs data dampened investor
sentiment, though a rise in gold miners on a jump in the
bullion price helped erase hefty early-session losses.
 Economically sensitive materials stocks, down 0.77 percent,
led the market lower, driven by 65 percent decline in shares of
Sino-Forest Corp TRE.TO. It played the biggest role of any
single stock in leading the market lower.
 The company, which operates forest plantations in China, on
Friday denied a report by a research firm and short-seller that
it had exaggerated its forestry holdings. [ID:nN03131872]
 Toronto stocks initially fell more than 1 percent after a
report showed U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than
expected in May and the jobless rate climbed to 9.1 percent,
stoking worries of continued economic weakness.
 "The concern there is, does this further underscore a more
meaningful slowing in the economy? The impact for the Canadian
economy is if there's a slowing in the U.S. economy -- they're
obviously our largest trading partner -- do they need less of
what we have that we produce?," said Peter Chandler, a senior
vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management.
 At 10:53 a.m. (1425 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 26.93 points, or 0.2
percent to 13,492.57, paring a significant chunk of the 1
percent slump shortly after the open.
 The index has so far fallen more than 2 percent on the
week. On Wednesday, the index saw its biggest one-day slide
since August.
 Financial stocks, down O.3 percent, played the second
biggest role of any sector in leading the market lower. Top
decliners included Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) down 1.27
percent at C$16.39 and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) down 0.47
percent at C$54.87.
 Energy issues swung between positive and negative territory
and were last off 0.16 percent with Canadian Natural Resources
(CNQ.TO: Quote) slipping 0.59 percent to C$40.22. Talisman Energy
TLM.TO fell 0.81 percent to C$19.48.
 Oil and copper prices continued to cool as the weakest
employment reading since September cast a pall over demand
prospects. [O/R] [MET/L]
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) bucked the trend with a 1.15 percent
rise to 39.58 and was the most influential gainer on the
 Bullion was the only bright spot for the resource heavy
TSX, as the data and weak U.S. dollar sent prices to session
highs, with investors rushing for the safe-haven precious
metal. [GOL/]
 The gold miners helped the overall materials group reverse
some of its earlier losses. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) rose 0.97 percent
to C$48.04, playing the biggest role after Suncor to support
the market.
 In corporate news, Toromont Industries (TIH.TO: Quote) fell 39
percent, or C$18.83. The sharp decline came after Toromont spun
off its natural gas compression business Enerflex Ltd to
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)