CANADA STOCKS-TSX records biggest monthly drop since May 2012

Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:44pm EDT
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* TSX down 16.41 points, or 0.11 percent, at 14,960.51
    * Five of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Selloff in oil price weighs on energy shares

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
posted its biggest monthly decline since May 2012 in September,
losing about 4.3 percent, as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on
commodity prices and shares of natural resource companies.
    The market was little changed on Tuesday as softness in the
energy and materials sectors was offset by a gain in the
financial sector.
    Investors processed government data showing the Canadian
economy did not expand in July, breaking a six-month streak of
consecutive gains. 
    Further, geopolitical tensions in Hong Kong and the prospect
of the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates remained on
the market's radar.
    "There seems to be some downward pressure. The mood has
changed here," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at
MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
    "People are starting to question whether the fundamentals
are still intact," he added.
    Nakamoto said that it would take some time for the Canadian
equity market "to heal itself."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 16.41 points, or 0.11 percent, at
14,960.51. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were weaker.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gave
back 1 percent as the prices of gold, silver and copper traded
lower. First Quantum Minerals Ltd shed 0.5 percent to
C$21.62, and Potash Corp fell 0.5 percent to C$38.78.
    A sharp selloff in the oil price took down energy shares.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd slipped 1.2 percent to
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada added 0.6 percent to
C$80.05, and Toronto Dominion Bank climbed 0.7 percent
to C$55.27. 
    In corporate news, exchange operator TMX Group Ltd on
Monday named Lou Eccleston as its new chief executive officer,
to replace retiring CEO Tom Kloet. The stock was up 0.7 percent,
at C$54.77. 

 (Editing by Nick Zieminski and Lisa Shumaker)