October 1, 2009 / 8:30 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends at 3-week low after weak U.S. data

 * TSX drops 323.20 points to 11,071.76
 * Lowest TSX close since Sept. 9
 * All 10 TSX sectors finish lower  (Adds details, comments and official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index skidded nearly 3 percent to its lowest close in more than three weeks on Thursday, hit by a mix of soft commodity prices and weak data from the United States that raised concerns about the strength of economic recovery.
 Shares of oil company Suncor Energy (SU.TO), the biggest drag on the index, dropped 4.4 percent to C$35.74, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) ended down 3.4 percent at C$69.81.
 Heavyweight bank shares were also hit. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) dropped 2.45 percent to C$56.14, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) ended down 2.8 percent at C$66.70.
 Fresh off a third-quarter gain of 9.8 percent, the TSX was knocked back after a report that showed the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in September for a second straight month but at a slower pace than economists expected. [ID:nSP546135]
 “We had a better than expected third quarter and so I think people being wary of the stability of the recovery are anxious to take profits,” said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
 “And you couple that with the disappointing manufacturing number and I think people are, and maybe rightly so, worried about the underlying strength of the economy.”
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 323.20 points, or 2.84 percent, at 11,071.76. That marked the TSX’s lowest close since Sept. 9.
 ($1=$1.08 Canadian)  (Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway)                                      

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