CANADA STOCKS-TSX battered as China data shakes commodities

Wed May 11, 2011 4:59pm EDT
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   * TSX down 222.32 points, or 1.63 percent, at 13,419.74
 * All 10 index groups lower
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, May 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index took
a beating on Wednesday as signals that the Chinese economy, the
world's second largest, might be cooling sent commodity prices
 Inflation in China eased in April and China's industrial
output growth was more than a full percentage point below
expectations in the same month after a strong showing in March.
The data helped push oil, gold and metal prices sharply lower.
 An unexpected rise in gasoline stocks also helped drive
crude prices down more than 4 percent -- the second big oil
selloff in a week. Copper prices crumbled on the data from
China, the world's biggest metals consumer. Silver dropped 8
percent and helped drag gold lower as well. [O/R] [MET/L]
 "The biggest thing is China overnight. There were some
pretty high expectations ... some of the economic data was a
bit weaker than expected. That's disappointing markets in
general," said Youssef Zohny, a portfolio manager at Van Arbor
Asset Management.
 The Toronto index's materials sector, which groups mining
companies, fell a hefty 3.25 percent. Diversified miner Teck
Resources TCKb.TO dropped 5.46 percent to C$45.50, Barrick
Gold ABX.TO was down 3.88 percent at C$43.82, while Goldcorp
G.TO slid 3.2 percent to C$46.05.
 Oil and gas stocks, which have fallen roughly 7 percent
over the past week and a half, were down 2.58 percent on
Wednesday. The energy and materials groups combined have about
a 50 percent weighting on the index.
 Suncor Energy SU.TO led blue-chip decliners with a 3.13
percent retreat to C$39.31. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO
fell 2.68 percent to C$40.24.
 "As the market has been in the last while, it's really been
over-reactive both on the up and the down side to those
positive and negative news," said Michael Sprung, president at
Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
 "Overall, we've got a combination of some disappointing
earnings, commodity declines, some economic data that's
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE finished down 222.32 points, or 1.63 percent, at
13,419.74. All 10 of its main groups were lower.
  "We're heading into the summer months, so it's not
atypical to see people building cash positions prior to the
summer. So we've got a little bit of a seasonal effect
beginning to happen as well," Sprung said.
 ($1=$0.96 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)