CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower as U.S. data adds to gloomy mood

Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:11am EDT
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* TSX down 0.45 percent at 9,790.17

* Materials group, up 0.5 percent

* Agrium shares up 0.8 percent on CF takeover optimism (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, June 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index dropped on Tuesday morning as U.S. economic data splashed more cold water on prospects for the global economy.

The TSX index's financial group fell 1.4 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) down 2.2 percent at C$44.09, while Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) sank 2.5 percent to C$19.92.

The index had opened slightly higher on firmer commodities prices, but followed U.S. equities lower after data showed sales of previously owned homes rose at a slower-than-expected pace in May.[ID:nN23475172]

Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said he would not be surprised if the market pulled back further following the runup from the index's March lows.

"I think pretty much the consensus throughout the market is that the runup we've had has been too sharp too fast," he said. "It needs to correct at some point."   Continued...