CANADA STOCKS-TSX weighed down by U.S. data, profit-taking

Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:34pm EDT
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*TSX down 51.16 points at 12,622.15

*All 10 sectors weaker (Recasts, updates to mid-afternoon)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index retreated on Thursday afternoon from the two-year high it hit the day before, pulled down by weak U.S. economic data despite rallying commodity prices.

All three of the index's heavyweight sectors were hit -- energy, down 0.9 percent, materials, down 0.2 percent, and financials, off 0.2 percent.

Among the biggest decliners were Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which fell 1.8 percent to C$34,68, and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), which slipped 0.8 percent to C$49.02.

Data showed new U.S. claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week, hardening the view that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pump more money into the economy in hopes of boosting growth and lowering unemployment. [ID:nN14277059]

Other data on Thursday showed record-high imports from China helped widen the U.S. trade deficit wider in August, which could drag on U.S. growth and increase international tensions over trade and currency policy.

"You've got stocks and commodities north and south of the border that have done extremely well in a very short period of time, so any one day's price movement is probably not terribly illuminating," said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist at Russell Investments in New York.   Continued...