* TSX down 172.12 points, or 1.47 percent, at 11,569.65
* U.S. consumer data ignites fears about growth
* Nine of 10 main TSX groups end lower (Adds details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, July 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index skidded on Friday as weak U.S. economic data and earnings results heightened worries about a slow recovery, and pushed down heavily weighted resource issues.
Toronto’s slide tracked a sharp decline by U.S. stocks, which tumbled in part after consumer sentiment fell to nearly a one-year low, highlighting the sluggishness of the economic recovery.
As well, weak energy costs pushed U.S. consumer prices down for a third straight month in June. [.N]
“You get a little bit of enthusiasm going here and all of a sudden you get squashed because consumer sentiment in the U.S. fell to an 11-month low,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
“That tells you there’s not a lot of confidence out there.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 172.12 points, or 1.47 percent, at 11,569.65, with nine of its 10 main sectors lower. The small healthcare group rose 2.7 percent. For the week, the TSX was down 0.01 percent.
The economic worries helped to push down each of the index’s key energy, materials and financial groups by more than 1.5 percent.
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 10.97 points lower, or 1.59 percent, at 678.84.
Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) was down 1.6 percent at C$32.33, dragged lower as oil fell to around $76 a barrel on jitters about the health of the recovery and the outlook for demand. [O/R]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) fell 1.9 percent to C$44.00 as U.S. gold dropped on weak inflation data and a selloff in equities prompted fund selling. [GOL/]
“Fears are still there about double dips,” said Ketchen, referring to the selloff in commodities.
Also weighing on investor sentiment were disappointing quarterly revenue from U.S. bellwether General Electric, as well as financial heavyweights Bank of America and Citigroup. [.N]
A headline event for Canada next week will be the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement on July 20, with the market pricing in a 90 percent chance of a 25 basis point hike to 0.75 percent. BOCWATCH
Andrew Parkinson, managing director at Van Arbor Asset Management, said the central bank’s decision shouldn’t affect stocks significantly.
“The market to a certain degree has priced in a quarter-point rise and so I think the effect is already in the market. You may see a knee-jerk downward pressure, but on the whole it’s taken it into consideration,” he said.
“The question is what sort of earnings are we seeing and where is that leading us,” he added.
$1=$1.06 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson