CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles as U.S. data spawns anxiety

Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:19pm EST
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* TSX falls 0.93 percent to 11,526.71

* U.S. housing, confidence data disappoint (Updates to close)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell for a second straight session on Tuesday, knocked down by weak U.S. consumer confidence data that cast doubt on the strength of the economic recovery.

U.S. consumer confidence fell to a 10-month low in February, which added to skittishness about the economy that was spurred by numbers earlier in the day that showed U.S. home prices dipped unexpectedly in December. [ID:nN23102211]

Top heavyweight decliners came from the TSX's three biggest sectors, financials, oil and gas, and materials. The trio accounts for about three-quarters of the index's weighting. These sectors were also behind the market's recent eight-day run of gains.

"We went down right off the get-go. We were due for a down day," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) fell 0.97 percent to C$56.05, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) shed 2.2 percent to C$30.85. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote) tumbled 3.4 percent to C$25.79, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) lost 3.15 percent to C$38.45.

The downbeat U.S. data helped to weaken key commodity prices, which pressured the materials and energy groups. Both sectors were down sharply as oil broke a five-day rally to drop below $79 a barrel, while gold also lost ground. [O/R] [GOL/]   Continued...