CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips ahead of U.S. payrolls data; TD gains

Thu Sep 1, 2011 5:37pm EDT
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   * TSX down 67.96 points, or 0.53 percent, at 12,700.74
 * Growth concerns, weaker commodity prices weigh
 * TD Bank climbs 1.5 percent on strong results
 (Updates with further details)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks fell on
Thursday, ending a four-day rally, as global growth concerns
and weaker commodity prices offset stronger gold shares and a
bounce in Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO on strong results.
 Global stock markets were pressured as slowing factory
output around the world renewed worries that the global economy
is on the brink of recession, though slightly
better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data initially helped
boost shares.  [MKTS/GLOB]
 "We've had such an up and down month of August I don't
think anybody knows what to make of what's going to happen this
month," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin
Financial Services.
 Investors turned cautious as they awaited U.S. non-farm
payrolls data on Friday. A decline in the employment component
of the Institute for Supply Management's factory activity index
heightened worries that August jobs growth will be weaker than
feared. [.N]
 "Employment is a much bigger number," said John Kurgan,
senior market strategist at MF Global Canada. "People are
looking for any kind of sign, they'll pick this thing apart on
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 67.96 points, or 0.53 percent, at
12,700.74. Light volume contributed to early swings with many
traders away ahead of the Labour Day holiday weekend.
 Nine of the ten main sectors were lower with energy issues
-- down 1 percent -- weighing most heavily after Brent crude
dipped on concerns about economic growth. [O/R]
 Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO was a top decliner,
falling 2 percent to C$36.26, while Suncor Energy SU.TO was
off 0.9 percent at C$31.
 Financial stocks were the second biggest weight on the
index, with some of Canada's big banks and insurers among the
heaviest drags.
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO fell 2.04 percent to C$49.10,
while Bank of Montreal BMO.TO lost 1.1 percent to C$60.71.
 But Toronto Dominion Bank TD.TO broke with the trend and
was the most influential gainer, helping minimize losses in the
overall sector.
 TD Bank climbed 1.5 percent to C$78.60 after reporting its
profit rose 23 percent due to stronger loan volumes at its
Canadian and U.S. retail units. TD also raised its dividend,
and briefly surpassed Royal Bank as the largest Canadian
company by market capitalization. [ID:nN1E77U1CO]
 The strong result and dividend increase -- TD was the
second Canadian bank to up its dividend in recent days --
capped a relatively healthy quarter for the country's big
 "Worries about Canadian banks seem to fade away each
quarter as we get strong earnings," said Schwartz.
 But, he added, "there's still a little bit in the back of
our minds about how poorly the U.S. and European banks
performed in the summer, so no one wants to be the first in
line and push up the banks just yet."
 Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO was another top decliner, falling
4.4 percent to C$4.56, a day after the world's No. 3 commercial
planemaker spooked investors with a dismal sales outlook for
its regional jets. [ID:nL4E7K12HR]
 Gold-mining stocks added 0.6 percent, helping push the
broader materials sector into positive territory even as the
price of bullion eased. Goldcorp G.TO rose 2.2 percent to
C$52.13, and Eldorado Gold ELD.TO was up 2.1 percent at
C$19.91. [GOL/]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)