TSX tumbles as global economic fears mount
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index tumbled hard on Tuesday as slowing growth in China, worry over looming euro-zone bank repayments, and a drop in U.S. consumer confidence unnerved stock markets around the world.
All 10 sectors of the index were hit, but it was weakness in the energy, financials and materials sectors -- the TSX index's three main pillars -- that pushed it to its biggest one-day drop since the "flash crash" of May 6.
Teck Resources plunged 5.7 percent to C$31.77 and First Quantum Minerals shed 6.4 percent to C$54.50, pushing the index's base-metal mining sector down almost 7 percent as prices for Canadian commodities got caught in Tuesday's downward spiral.
The index's energy sector fell 3.5 percent, dragged down by Suncor Energy, which lost 4.1 percent to C$31.65, and by Canadian Natural Resources, down 3.3 percent to C$35.05.
The index's fall was largely driven by a revision to the Conference Board's leading economic index for China to a 0.3 percent gain in April instead of the 1.7 percent rise the group had reported earlier.
"People want the Chinese economy to slow down but it's a matter of how much," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
Jean-Francois Dion, vice president and portfolio adviser at RBC Dominion Securities, saw the Chinese revision as the main market-moving headline.
"Given how important China is in the current environment and how much concern there's been to the growth in China, I think that's absolutely what's moving the market today," Dion said. Continued...