* TSX skids 101.86 points to 10,374.91
* Posts 18.9 percent gain for second quarter
* Bank shares drop on doubts about recovery (Adds details)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, June 30 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index capped off a sharp quarterly gain with a lower close on Tuesday as weighty financial shares tumbled on concerns about the prospects for a global economic recovery.
The TSX index’s financial group, which accounts for about 33 percent of the index, fell 2 percent as data showed Canada’s gross domestic product declined for the ninth straight month in April. [ID:N30433471]
Also, data from the United States showed consumer confidence took an unexpectedly steep slide in June and fanned caution about recovery prospects. [ID:nN30517712]
Shares of Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the biggest drag on the main index, fell 2.3 percent to C$47.57, while insurer Manulife Financial MFC.TO fell 3.6 percent to C$20.19.
“Sentiment was definitely dented today by the weak economic data we got from both sides of the border,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
“We haven’t been able to push higher this month with any degree of conviction, but having said that, this really has been a phenomenal quarter, so it stands to reason that investors are a little uncertain about where we go from here.”
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 101.86 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 10,374.91 on Tuesday. For the second quarter, it rallied 18.9 percent after falling 3 percent in the first quarter. It rose a wafer-thin 0.04 percent gain in March.
This week’s shortened trading week also lent to increased volatility, as well as thinner volumes. The Toronto Stock Exchange will be closed Wednesday, July 1, for Canada Day, while U.S. markets will be closed on Friday, July 3, for Saturday’s July 4 Independence Day holiday.
Tuesday’s TSX drop erased all of Monday’s gain. The index jumped 50 points at the open, but it quickly moved back into lower territory for the remainder of the session.
“It was definitely month-end volatility,” Picardo said of the choppy start to the week. “And also the fact that it’s a holiday week both in Canada and the U.S., so trading volumes would be on the lighter side and that might have accounted for some of these intraday turnarounds.”
Other drags on the resource-heavy TSX in the latest session came from the materials sector, which ended down 2.2 percent, hurt by lower commodity prices.
Shares of Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO dropped 3 percent to C$39.15, while Goldcorp G.TO fell 3.4 percent to C$40.43.
Six of the TSX’s 10 sectors ended the latest session in lower territory.
The TSX is expected to finish the year slightly above its current levels, with meatier gains to follow in 2010 as the global economic recovery gains momentum, according to a Reuters poll released on Tuesday. [ID:nN26265268] By mid-2010, the TSX will reach 11,000, according to the median forecast, which would represent a 6 percent rise from Tuesday’s close.
$1=$1.16 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway