CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts third straight decline as soft data drags

Mon Jan 6, 2014 4:37pm EST
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* TSX falls 53.32 points, or 0.39 percent, to 13,495.54
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * BlackBerry jumps after naming new executive
    * Kirkland Lake drops after it weighs asset, share sales

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped
on Monday for a third straight session as signs of economic
weakness emerged from different parts of the globe, weighing on
shares of financial and industrial companies.
    U.S. private sector economic activity growth slowed slightly
in December, with a services sector reading also edging lower,
according to an industry report. 
    A separate report said China's services industry growth
slowed sharply in 2013, adding to data released last week
indicating weakness in the manufacturing sector in the world's
second-largest economy. 
    Offsetting some of the weakness, BlackBerry Ltd 
shares jumped 5.2 percent to C$8.51 after the smartphone maker
said it hired a former Sony Ericsson executive to head its
loss-making devices business. 
    After recording a 9.6 percent increase in 2013, the Toronto
market is down about 1 percent this year.
    "We see some tepidness and weakness at the start of the
year," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner
Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson GMP, who noted that
investors were also cautious ahead of U.S. jobs data that will
be released on Friday.
    "Last year valuations expanded and this year the economy and
earnings have to deliver on that valuation expansion," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 53.32 points, or 0.39 percent, at
13,495.54, after earlier touching 13,473.23, its lowest level
since Dec. 24.
    Some investors say more pressure on commodity prices could
weigh on gold and other materials stocks this year.
    "We expect non-commodity related companies to have a fairly
decent year in 2014," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and
portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
    Fund managers are watching the moves of central banks, such
as the U.S. Federal Reserve, very closely. 
    "The drums will be pounding for central banks to increase
interest rates by late 2014," Schwartz said.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
    Financials, the Toronto index's most heavily-weighted
sector, gave back 0.7 percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost
1 percent to C$70.70, and Bank of Nova Scotia declined
1.1 percent to C$64.74.
    Shares of industrial companies slipped 0.7 percent. Canadian
National Railway Co dropped 1.4 percent to C$59.27.
    But the materials sector, which includes mining stocks,
advanced 0.5 percent. Barrick Gold Corp climbed 1.4
percent to C$19.58.
    In other corporate news, Kirkland Lake Gold Inc 
said it started a strategic review and may sell assets or
shares. The stock shed 13.3 percent to C$2.60. 
    MBAC Fertilizer Corp said it had picked a new chief
executive, news that helped drive its shares up 9.3 percent to