CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears 3-week low as oil sells off

Tue Jan 6, 2015 4:41pm EST
 
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* TSX down 145.93 points, or 1.01 percent, at 14,246.77

* Nine of 10 main index sectors decline

* Gold-mining shares surge 6 percent

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped to its lowest in nearly 3 weeks on Tuesday as oil prices plunged on renewed concerns about a global supply glut, helping push down shares of energy producers.

The release of sluggish U.S. economic data, with new orders for factory goods dropping for a fourth straight month in November, contributed further to the bearish mood.

Oil prices touched a 5-1/2-year low and have slid almost 10 percent in the last two sessions. They are down about 55 percent since June. Shares of energy companies have lost more than a third of their value during this time.

Hit by the energy-sector weakness, the benchmark Canadian index extended losses after recording its biggest single-day drop in about 20 months on Monday.

"We're looking ahead to a very volatile 2015," said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver. "I'm not going to try to pretend to know where the bottom is."   Continued...