March 23, 2018 / 9:10 PM / 5 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits five-week low as trade war fears grow

 (New throughout; updates prices to close)
    TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
to a five-week low on Friday, led by declines for financial and
industrial shares, as domestic data showed hotter-than-expected
inflation and fears of a global trade war gripped investors.
    
    * Wall Street tumbled on Friday with more than 1,000 points
knocked off the Dow in two days as investors, increasingly
nervous about a potential U.S. trade war with China, shied away
from risk ahead of the weekend and sought shelter from further
losses.             
    * Canada's annual inflation rate in February jumped to a
three-year high while January retail sales put in another
disappointing performance, giving the Bank of Canada room to
ponder when next to hike interest rates.             
    * Financials, which account for more than one-third of the
weight of the TSX, fell 1.6 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank
        declined 2.3 percent to C$73.21. And Royal Bank of
Canada         was down 1.4 percent at C$99.21.
    * Industrials fell 1.4 percent as railroad shares lost
ground.    
    * The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
          ended down 176.19 points, or 1.14 percent, at
15,223.74, its lowest close since Feb. 13.
    * On Thursday, the TSX registered its biggest one-day
percentage drop since September 2016. For the week, the index
fell 3.1 percent.
    * The energy group fell 1 percent even as oil prices
climbed. U.S. crude oil futures        settled 2.5 percent
higher at $65.88 a barrel.                 
    * Eight of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.
    * The materials group, which includes precious and base
metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.6 percent.
    * Gold futures        rose 1.7 percent to $1,349.3 an ounce,
boosted by demand for safe-haven assets.       
    * The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Kinross Gold
      , which rose 6.2 percent, while the largest decliner was
Lundin Mining         , down 6.0 percent.
    * The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and 15 new lows.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith
Editing by James Dalgleish)
  
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