CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips on first trading day of 2014

Thu Jan 2, 2014 5:06pm EST
 
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* TSX falls 27.36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,594.19
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Bombardier up after winning jet order

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on
Thursday after signs of a slowdown in China's manufacturing
industry helped fuel declines in the energy and financial
sectors, offsetting gains in gold-mining shares. 
    A selloff in oil prices, as Libya prepared to restart a
major oilfield and market speculation of a rise in crude
stockpiles in Cushing, Oklahoma, further dampened investor
sentiment. 
    Official and private manufacturing surveys showed Chinese
factory activity moderated in December. Data
indicating that U.S. manufacturing grew in December at its
fastest pace in 11 months failed to give investors a boost.
 
    The export-driven Canadian market eased on the first trading
day of 2014, after recording a 9.6 percent gain last year, when
equity markets rallied on the back of liquidity injected into
the market by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
    "The overwhelming theme we're likely to see in 2014 could be
the same theme we saw in 2013, which is the eventual withdrawal
of the extraordinary monetary stimulus we've seen in the United
States and all over the world," said Craig Lazzara, global head
of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
    "You would expect interest rates would go up; you would
expect that to flow through the entire global financial system,
certainly including Canada," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 27.36 points, or 0.20 percent, at
13,594.19. 
    Investors were cautious about the prospects for the Toronto
stock market, whose gains in 2013 badly trailed those of U.S.
indexes.
    "I think we're going to have positive returns, but it's
pretty hard to get too excited (about the Canadian market),"
said Luciano Orengo, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset
Management, who expects high single-digit gains for the TSX in
2014.
    Investors should, however, look for pockets of strength
within the resource groups.
    "There could be some upside surprises in the energy sector
as U.S. investors look for better bargains in Canada and you
could have a resurgence of mining companies," Orengo said.
    Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
Thursday.
    With the price of U.S. crude oil shedding almost 3
percent, energy shares dropped.
    Suncor Energy Inc gave back 1.2 percent to C$36.79,
and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 1.6 percent to
C$35.35.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
declined 0.6 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank slipped 0.4
percent to C$98.87.
    But the materials sector added 2.1 percent, helped by a 4.4
percent jump in shares of gold producers, supported by a higher
bullion price. 
    Goldcorp Inc climbed 4.7 percent to C$24.13, and
Barrick Gold Corp gained 4.4 percent to C$19.54.
    Shares of Bombardier Inc edged up to C$4.64 after
the company said late on Tuesday that it received a firm order
from an undisclosed customer for 38 business aircraft in a deal
valued at about $2.2 billion.