August 19, 2013 / 8:46 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Fed fears drive TSX to biggest drop in eight weeks

* TSX falls 148.86 points, or 1.17 percent, to 12,588.06
    * All 10 main index sectors decline
    * Canadian Natural has biggest negative influence on market
    * B2Gold tumbles more than 13 percent after senior note

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
recorded its biggest single-day percentage fall in eight weeks
on Monday as concerns about the U.S. Federal Reserve's exit
strategy for its stimulus program hit energy and financial
    The Toronto market gave up much of the gains it made in the
previous week, with every major sector on the index ending in
the red.
    Rising expectations that the wind-down of the Fed's bond
buying program is imminent created more uncertainty in the
market, with investors hoping the release on Wednesday of
minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting would shed light on
the U.S. central bank's intentions. 
    "Investors are taking some of the profits off the table and
want see what shakes out once the Fed begins tapering," said
Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at
Global Securities in Vancouver.
    "You could very well see a knee-jerk reaction when news
first comes out about the exact timing of the tapering," he
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 148.86 points, or 1.17 percent, at
12,588.06, its biggest decline since June 24. 
    "It looks like we're into shaky waters," said Victor
Kuntzevitsky, an associate at Northland Wealth Management.
    "I do expect more volatility," he added. "Because of the
overhang, investors are not sure where to put the money."
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
dropped 0.9 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's
biggest lender, gave back 0.5 percent to C$64.02, and insurer
Manulife Financial Corp fell 2.6 percent to C$17.21.
    Shares of energy companies shed 1.8 percent. Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd fell 2.6 percent to C$30.67 and
had the biggest negative influence on the market. Suncor Energy
Inc lost 1.1 percent to C$34.93.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, stumbled
1.4 percent. Teck Resources Ltd declined 2.1 percent
to C$28.11.
    B2Gold Corp tumbled more than 13 percent to C$2.95.
The gold producer said it is offering $225 million of
convertible senior subordinated notes due 2018.
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