CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops to 2-1/2 month low on soft U.S. data

Wed Apr 3, 2013 11:14am EDT
 
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* TSX falls 85.47 points, or 0.67 percent, to 12,596.63
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors decline
    * TD names new CEO; shares down
    * Manulife drops 2 percent after Asia executives leave

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
to its lowest level in more than 2-1/2 months on Wednesday with
declines in almost all of its major sectors as weak U.S.
economic data dampened hopes for a smooth recovery.
    Investors also awaited this week's monetary policy moves
from the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan.        
    An industry report showed that the pace of growth in the
U.S. services sector slowed in March to the lowest level in
seven months as new orders and employment measures pulled back.
 
    "There may be some concerns building about the
sustainability of the recovery in this environment," said
Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management.
    "I think the market is ahead of where the fundamentals would
put it," he added. "There's likely to be a correction, and this
could be the beginning of it."
    The benchmark Canadian index, which was lower for the third
straight session, is up about 5 percent since hitting a low in
November. Its gains since the start of the year, however, have
paled in comparison with the record runs of its U.S. peers. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 85.47 points, or 0.67 percent, at 12,596.63,
after dropping to 12,579.69, its lowest point since Jan. 15. 
    Nine of the 10 sectors of the index were in the red.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, lost 0.6 percent.
In the group, Bank of Nova Scotia declined 0.8 percent
to C$58.60.
    Shares of Manulife Financial Corp were down almost
2 percent at C$14.77, after news the insurer was losing two of
its top executives in Asia. 
    In other company news, Toronto-Dominion Bank said
Chief Executive Ed Clark plans to retire in late 2014 and that
Bharat Masrani, group head of U.S. personal and commercial
banking, will succeed him. TD shares were down 0.6 percent at
C$83.96. 
    The energy group fell 0.9 percent with Suncor Energy Inc
 down 0.8 percent at C$30.95. 
    The materials sector, which includes miners, fell 0.5
percent.