CANADA STOCKS-TSX retreats as investors brace for jobs report

Thu Apr 3, 2014 4:51pm EDT
 
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(Adds details, comments from fund manager; updates prices)
    * TSX falls 56.90 points, or 0.39 percent, to 14,402.21
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Gold-mining shares slip with bullion price

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Thursday as sluggish U.S. economic data increased investor
anxiety ahead of an upcoming jobs report and a drop in bullion
hurt gold-mining shares.
    The Toronto market's weakness followed gains in each of the
previous four sessions. It is up about 5.7 percent this year.
    Investors also digested news that the European Central Bank
left interest rates unchanged, though it said it was willing to
act if inflation stays too low for too long. 
    Data released on Thursday showed a greater-than-expected
rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits last week. 
    Investors are now awaiting the monthly U.S. nonfarm payrolls
report on Friday, a key indicator of the health of the world's
biggest economy. 
    "It seems like the market is a little tepid ahead of the
jobs report tomorrow morning," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio
manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a subsidiary of
Richardson GMP. "The economy seems to have hit a soft patch." 
    "Commodities have helped the TSX outperform the U.S. market
year-to-date," he added. "We continue to see that developing as
the year progresses."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 56.90 points, or 0.39 percent, at
14,402.21. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index ended in
the red.
    Industrials stocks shed 0.5 percent. Canadian National
Railway Co fell 0.6 percent to C$61.98, and Bombardier
Inc was down 2.8 percent at C$4.16.
    Shares of gold-mining companies lost 0.9 percent after the
price of bullion fell. Goldcorp Inc gave back 1.7 percent
to C$27.14, and Barrick Gold Corp declined 1.2 percent
to C$20.24.
    In corporate news, Goldcorp extended its takeover bid for
Osisko Mining Corp. Osisko shares fell 1.8 percent to
C$7.22. 
    Hudson's Bay Co slipped 5.1 percent, to C$17.86,
after the retailer's 2014 profit forecast missed expectations.
 
    ($1=$1.10 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and Diane Craft)