CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower as investors get mixed signals

Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:09pm EDT
 
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 *TSX ends down 57.81 points at 14,029.37
 *Seven of 10 sectors down, including resources, financials
 *RIM U.S.-listed shares dropped 4.9 percent after-hours
 (Updates to close, adds details, comments)
 By Claire Sibonney
  TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed lower on Thursday, after rallying the day before, as
commodity prices showed volatility and mixed U.S. economic data
failed to give a clear picture of recovery.
 Gold-mining shares dropped more than 1 percent as gold
prices retreated after climbing to a record high earlier in the
day. Gold fell as technical selling more than offset the
safe-haven appeal bullion got from jitters over the European
debt crisis. [GOL/]
 Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) was down 1.4 percent at C$50.32
and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) slid 2.4 percent to C$47.65.
 The index's energy sector fell 0.7 percent, despite U.S.
crude futures ending up slightly after see-saw day of trading
marked by supply worries spurred by fighting in Libya and
growing unrest in the Middle East. [O/R]
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) sagged 0.8 percent to C$43.73, and
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) slumped 1.2 percent to
C$47.76. [O/R]
 "There are so many cross-currents, you can't get really any
real trend going or excitement going," said Sal Masionis,
stockbroker at Brant Securities. "It's very choppy and people
are very nervous."
  Masionis added that the likelihood of a spring federal
election in Canada was throwing more uncertainty into the mix.
 Canada's minority Conservative government looks set to fall
on Friday on opposition charges it is incompetent and tainted
by sleaze, setting the scene for an immediate election
campaign. [ID:nN23287439]
 In the United States, new orders for long-lasting U.S.
manufactured goods unexpectedly fell in February, while a drop
in new claims for jobless benefits signaled a sustained
strengthening of the labor market. [ID:nN24115372]
 "Durable goods were a little bit lower than expected so
that did weigh in," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global
Canada in Montreal. "There's still some uncertainty out there
on the full impact of Japanese manufacturing slowing down,
we're starting to see some disruption in Canadian and U.S.
manufacturing."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 57.81 points, or 0.41 percent, at
14,029.37. Seven of its 10 sectors were weaker, including
economically sensitive financials, off 0.4 percent.
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was down 0.7 percent at
C$59.63, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) fell
1.4 percent to C$83.40.
 Campeau said that the index's climb back above its 50-day
moving average around 13,800 this week was a bullish sign and
will serve as healthy near-term support.
  A Reuters poll of fund managers and strategists released
on Thursday showed they expect the TSX index to post a high
single-digit gain for 2011 due to a strong domestic economy
that will be underpinned by continuing recovery in the United
States. [ID:nN22164709]
 Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O jumped 2.6 percent to
C$62.49 ahead of its quarterly earnings that came out after the
market close.
 But its U.S.-listed shares dropped 4.9 percent in
after-hours trade immediately following the release of the
results as the market considered its outlook weak.
[ID:nN24175647]
 Sprott Inc (SII.TO: Quote) ended up 2.5 percent to C$9.51 after
the fund manager's quarterly profit rose eight-fold, helped by
the launch of new funds and its exposure to gold and silver.
[ID:nL3E7EO1F3]
 Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote) rallied almost 2 percent to C$6.53
after the world's third-largest commercial aircraft-maker
signed an agreement to work on commercial planes with the
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. [ID:nL3E7EO1II]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)