November 13, 2009 / 4:02 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as U.S. consumer data drags; Suncor up

 * TSX down 0.2 percent at 11,340.69
 * Suncor budgets C$5.5 bln for 2010 capex
 * Consumer sentiment down, weakest in 3 months  (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index lost ground on Friday as weak consumer sentiment data from the United States battled with strength in Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and other oil producers.
 Suncor was among the most influential advancers on the TSX, up 0.66 percent at C$36.67, after the country’s biggest oil company said it would budget C$5.5 billion for capital expenditures next year and would restart construction at an oil sands project. [ID:nBNG481094]
 But a weaker than expected reading of U.S. consumer sentiment weighed on the market. The index measure fell in early November to the lowest level in three months amid grim expectations for job and income prospects, the Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed. [ID:nN13464376]
 At 10:40 a.m. (1540 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 20.07 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,340.69. It had briefly popped higher after a negative start. Seven of its 10 main sectors were lower.
 “Particularly going into Black Friday next week, if you are a U.S. retailer, big box or otherwise, you’re probably a little concerned after seeing that number. That’s pulling the market down a bit,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
 Black Friday, or the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, typically marks the official launch of the U.S. holiday shopping season, when retailers offer eye-popping deals to attract customers.
 The consumer sentiment figures also come on the heels of a guarded earnings outlook for the crucial Christmas quarter from retail giant Wal-Mart (WMT.N) on Thursday. [ID:nN12404234]
 Financials, which are often a broad play on the economy, were under pressure on Friday morning, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) among the key decliners.
 Shares of Mega Brands MB.TO jumped more than 16 percent to 99 Canadian cents after the toymaker said it returned to profit in the third quarter.  [ID:nN13456455]
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)  (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)                                      

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