October 12, 2012 / 9:38 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts worst week in 4 months

* TSX ends down 31.91 points, or 0.26 pct, at 12,202.04
    * Financials, materials shares down; energy shares up

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
pulled back on Friday and marked its worst weekly performance in
four months as worries about the euro zone's crisis strategy,
the upcoming U.S. election and slowing global economic growth
limited the appeal of riskier assets.
    Investors failed to be motivated by data showing Americans
were the most upbeat they've been in five years, and by earnings
reports showing record quarterly profits at JPMorgan Chase
 and Wells Fargo & Co.
    Canadian financials, down 0.2 followed their Wall Street
peers into negative territory. Bank of Nova Scotia fell
0.5 percent at C$53.22, and Bank of Montreal was off
0.3 percent to C$58.47.
    "There's a lot of lethargy out there...people are worried
about Europe still and the U.S. election is getting closer and
closer," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell
Securities, noting that the next couple weeks of U.S. earnings
will also provide more direction.
    Weak global demand has heightened concerns over the
prospects for corporate earnings growth. As a group, S&P 500
companies' quarterly earnings are expected to fall 3 percent
from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data, marking the
first decline in three years. 
    Helping to push the index lower was a 1.3 percent drop in
its materials sector on weak metals and grain prices. 
 Barrick Gold dropped 1.9 percent to C$38.31, and
Potash Corp was down 1.5 percent to C$40.82.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 31.91 points, or 0.26 percent, at
    The TSX lost 1.8 percent in the week, its worst weekly
performance since June.
    "Everybody is focusing more on the uncertainty created not
only by Europe, but the U.S. fiscal cliff, the upcoming
elections in November, all of those I think are larger than the
earnings expectations," said John Ing, president of Maison
Placements Canada.
    A potential bailout request from Spain would remove another
layer of uncertainty in financial markets and activate the
European Central Bank's bond-buying program aimed at lowering
borrowing costs for troubled euro zone economies.
    Energy shares limited the TSX's fall on Friday, edging up
0.2 percent.
    The rally was limited by a report from the International
Energy Agency (IEA) that said ample supply from North America
and Iraq, coupled with declining global demand, could lead to an
easing of oil prices over the next five years. 
    Canadian Natural Resources rose 0.8 percent to
C$30.25, and EnCana Corp gained 0.6 percent to C$21.91.
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