October 14, 2010 / 9:00 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-U.S. data knocks TSX off its 2-year high

 *TSX down 53.62 points at 12,619.69
 *All 10 sectors weaker  (Recasts, adds comment, closing stock prices)
 By Claire Sibonney and Pav Jordan
 TORONTO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower on Thursday, retreating from the two-year high it hit a day earlier as investors took their cue from weak U.S. economic data and took profits.
 All 10 of the index's main sectors were down, including the three heavyweights: energy, down 0.85 percent, materials, down 0.29 percent, and financials, off 0.2 percent.
  "I think that maybe the market at the present time seems to have run out of a bit of steam, and after the run that we have had, I can understand that," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod, adding that the soft U.S. data was also weighing on investors' minds.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 53.62 points, or 0.42 percent, lower at 12,619.69, after hitting its highest level in two years on Wednesday.
 Among the biggest decliners were Suncor Energy (SU.TO), which fell 1.67 percent to C$34.72, and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), which dropped 0.65 percent to C$49.09.
 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 in August, which may 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.
 "It could be profit-taking ... for Canada the loonie is getting very, very, very strong, and this is obviously going to have macro-economic consequences for exports and manufacturers north of the border."
 Canada depends on the United States to take in about three-quarters of its exports, which are tilted toward commodities like oil, metals, and natural gas.
 The demand for those exports could come under pressure because of broad U.S. dollar weakness. The Canadian dollar pierced parity with the greenback on Thursday for the first time since April. [CAD/]
 Despite the market's broad decline, the shares of some base-metal miners jumped as copper touched its highest level in two years. Teck Resources TCKb.TO advanced 1.33 percent to C$46.60. [MET/L]
  HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO), whose shares have soared since the company announced a joint venture with Aquila Resources (AQA.TO) last year, rose 1.01 percent on Thursday to C$15.99.
 ($1=$1.004 Canadian)  (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)                                        

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