CANADA STOCKS-TSX heads for sharpest weekly loss since May

Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:52am EST
 
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* TSX down 29.18 points, or 0.25 percent, at 11,782.20
    * Index on track for 3.2 percent slip this week
    * U.S. "fiscal cliff", Europe recession weigh
    * Miners and financial stocks lead broad decline


    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Friday as signs of global economic weakness pushed down
commodity prices, hitting heavyweight resource shares, and the
U.S. "fiscal cliff" continued to bruise financial shares. 
 
    Data on Thursday showed the debt crisis had dragged the euro
zone back into recession, while a lackluster
U.S. earnings season and China's leadership transition dimmed
hopes for a speedy return to robust global demand.
 
    Investors also continued to fret about political wrangling
in the United States as the nation approached the so-called
"fiscal cliff" of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that
threaten to push it into recession. 
    "The brinkmanship that is played, the angst and the grief
and the finger-pointing that goes on through this process is
really hard for the market to swallow," said Rick Hutcheon,
president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.
    At 11:27 a.m. (1627 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 29.18 points, or 0.25
percent, at 11,782.20. It was on track for its sharpest weekly
fall since May.
    Hutcheon noted that valuations have become cheap and that it
would take little for the index to bounce higher in coming
weeks. "If there is any glimmer of good news the market has a
very strong rally potential," he said.
    Fertilizer company Potash Corp was the most heavily
weighted decliner, dropping 1.1 percent to C$37.29, while
insurer Manulife Financial Corp slipped 0.9 percent to
C$11.70, and oil producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 was off 0.8 percent at C$27.15.
    Niko Resources Ltd skidded to a 52-week low,
tumbling more than 10 percent to C$8.33, after the oil company
announced stock and convertible debt offerings.