CANADA STOCKS-China, Ukraine concerns pull TSX lower
* TSX falls 45.45 points, or 0.31 percent, to 14,719.70 * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline * Oil prices weigh on energy shares By John Tilak TORONTO, May 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped on Monday as sluggish economic data from China and violence in Ukraine weighed on sentiment. A private survey showed a decline manufacturing sector activity in China for a fourth consecutive month in April, renewing concerns about whether the world's second-biggest economy will be able to sustain its pace of economic growth. Also rattling the market was news that four Ukrainian paramilitary police were killed on Monday in fighting with pro-Russian separatists near the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk, according to the Interior Ministry. Some investors are worried that the situation in Ukraine might grow more serious and inflict damage on nearby regions and economies. "Ukraine is bothering the market," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada, who added that there was no near-term resolution in sight. "The market is yet to focus on the financial ramifications," he said. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 45.45 points, or 0.31 percent, at 14,719.70. The Canadian benchmark is up about 8 percent this year as natural resource shares have rallied. "The geopolitical problems, the continuation of the (U.S. Federal Reserve's) taper and the richly valued (sections) of the market suggest that profit-taking is in order," Ing said. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on Monday. Shares of energy producers gave back 0.5 percent, reflecting weakness in oil prices. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 0.7 percent to C$44.66, and Suncor Energy Inc declined 0.4 percent to C$43.04. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, shed 0.2 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank falling 0.4 percent to C$52.19. However, gold-mining shares advanced as the price of bullion climbed with the increase in geopolitical tensions. Barrick Gold Corp added 0.7 percent to C$19.28, and Goldcorp Inc rose 0.2 percent to C$27.82. In corporate news, BlackBerry Ltd disclosed that U.S. real estate investment company Spear Street Capital is buying most of the technology firm's Canadian real estate holdings for C$305 million ($278 million). BlackBerry shares were down 1.8 percent at C$8.79. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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