August 13, 2012 / 12:52 PM / in 5 years

TSX miners push index lower on weaker commodities

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main equity index fell on Monday after weak Japanese data added to evidence of a slowing global economy, with mining and energy stocks leading the decline as commodity prices fell.

A sign shows TSX information in Toronto September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA)

Canada’s market mirrored falls in European and U.S. markets as concern over slowing growth offset hopes that major central banks will move to stimulate growth.

Miners and energy companies lead the Toronto index lower.

“The pressure on Canada stems mostly from commodities being weaker,” said Levente Mady, a market strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver.

Copper fell for a fourth straight session and gold was also lower as persistent concerns about the faltering health of the global economy drove losses across the broader industrial metals’ complex.

Copper, used in industrial construction, has been hit by mounting fears of deteriorating economic outlooks in top metals consumer China, the euro zone and the United States.

Major Canadian copper producer Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO was down 2.5 percent to C$29.58 and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) -- which gets one-fifth of its revenue from copper -- fell 1 percent to C$33.96.

Canada’s resource-focused companies -- which make up a major chunk of the overall index -- have been slow to recover from dips in the price of commodities this year.

”(Gold miners) have been lagging for a long time. They’re quite a bit behind the commodity, said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities. “And the same with the energy stocks, they’re behind the oil price.”

Adding to macro-economic concerns, Japan’s economy expanded just 0.3 percent in April-June, half the pace expected, raising doubts about the strength of the recovery as Europe’s debt crisis weighed on worldwide demand.

“People keep looking for signs we’re into a recovery mode and it’s somewhat sustainable, however...I don’t think there’s any consistency to what is going on in our economy and therefore in our market,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

A 2.6 percent fall in oil and gas company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) to C$30.15 was the single biggest drag on the index, while fertilizer maker Potash Corp (POT.TO) also weighed, down 1 percent to C$42.72.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE unofficially closed down 52.56 points, or 0.44 percent, at 11,838.33.

Insurers Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) and Sunlife Finacial Inc (SLF.TO) provided some support, gaining 2.3 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp PRE.TO gained 2.2 percent to C$23.98 after it said it was making an additional investment in a port project in Colombia.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Kenneth Barry and Diane Craft

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