July 9, 2012 / 3:42 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls after ECB comments, China fear

* TSX down 61.48 pts, or 0.5 pct, at 11,598.48
    * Mining, financials lead losses
    * ECB comments offer little relief
    * U.S., China growth fears hurt risk assets

    By Jon Cook
    TORONTO, July 9 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks fell on Monday,
led lower by mining and financial shares, after comments from
the European Central Bank provided little relief for investors
spooked by last week's soft U.S. jobs numbers and China's
slowing business activity.
    In testimony on Monday, ECB President Mario Draghi said
fixing Europe's debt woes required action by both monetary and
fiscal authorities. 
    Pressure for action by European leaders is growing, but
there are nagging concerns that decisions on issues such as
banking supervision, how to use Europe's rescue money, aid to
Spain and Cyprus, and whether to grant concessions to Greece may
take months to finalize.
    Diminished hopes also weighed on Spanish and Italian bonds,
with yields moving back up to unsustainable levels.
    "This is a market that's just looking for bad news," said
John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. "You get
sporadic days when you get a volatile reaction upwards, but it
never lasts and suggests that this market wants to head lower."
    Eight of Canada's 10 main sectors were in the red on Monday.
The heavyweight materials group, which includes miners, led
losses, down 1 percent. Metals prices were held in check as
investors fretted about Chinese gross domestic product data to
be released later this week. 
    The biggest drags on the market included top gold producers
Goldcorp Inc, down 1.3 percent at C$38.02, and Barrick
Gold, off 1.1 percent at C$37.14.
    Teck Resources tumbled 2.6 percent to C$31.10
after the copper miner said on Monday it has temporarily
withdrawn the environmental assessment application for its
expansion at the Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile. 
    Around 11:11 a.m. (1511 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 61.48 points, or 0.5
percent, at 11,598.48.
    Canadian financials also edged lower, falling 0.5 percent.
Royal Bank of Canada slid 1 percent to C$52.27,
Toronto-Dominion Bank edged down 0.6 percent at C$79.02,
and Sun Life Financial dropped 1.9 percent to C$22.05.
    Oil and gas shares slipped 0.7 percent, despite a rise in
oil prices. Losses were led by Canadian Natural Resources
, which fell 1.2 percent to C$26.26. 
    Trading was also still being affecting by Friday's
weaker-than-expected U.S. employment report, which showed the
world's biggest economy added jobs at a slower pace than had
been forecast.
    However, the losses were limited as the data was also seen
boosting the prospects for stimulus from the world's major
central banks. 
    "That's the sign of a bear market," said Ing. "The market is
forever looking for the hope of a QE3, but the reality is that
quantitative easing only buys time." 
    In recent years, the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve,
undertook two rounds of quantitative easing that involved buying
U.S. Treasuries with the goal of lowering long-term U.S interest
rates with the aim of stimulating investment.
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