CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips to 3-month low as U.S. data drags

Thu Apr 4, 2013 11:22am EDT
 
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* TSX falls 47.04 points, or 0.38 percent, to 12,375.08
    * Six of 10 main sectors decline
    * Dominion Diamond climbs as quarterly sales rise
    * SNC-Lavalin down as company says chairman to retire

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
to its lowest in more than three months on Thursday, led by
declines in energy and financial shares, as weak U.S. jobless
claims numbers stoked worries about the recovery in the world's
biggest economy.
    Investors also nervously eyed major monetary policy moves,
with the Bank of Japan planning to pump more money into the
economy and the European Central Bank President saying the ECB
was "ready to act."
    The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits hit a four-month high last week, suggesting the labor
market recovery lost some steam in March. 
    The benchmark Canadian index, which recorded its biggest
one-day percentage decline in more than nine months on
Wednesday, fell for the fourth straight session amid a spate of
negative economic news in recent days.
    "The market is like a hot air balloon. You've got to keep on
pumping in hot air to make it go up," said Luciano Orengo,
portfolio manager with Manulife Asset Management.
    "The recovery story in the United States is not dead," he
added. "You're seeing the economy take a bit of a breather."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 47.04 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,375.08,
after reaching 12,344.47, its lowest point since Dec. 31, 2012. 
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    The energy group gave back 1.2 percent as oil prices
declined. Suncor Energy Inc fell 1.7 percent to C$29.65.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, slipped 0.8
percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost 1 percent to C$60.73.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
0.1 percent.
    In company news, Dominion Diamond Corp, formerly
Harry Winston Diamond Corp, reported late on Wednesday an
increase in fourth-quarter sales on rising demand in the United
States, China and India. The stock climbed 1.4 percent to
C$16.15. 
    SNC-Lavalin Group Inc said four of its board
members, including its chairman, will retire at its annual
shareholder meeting. SNC shares were down 0.1 percent.