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TSX Extends Losses Amid US, China Data - Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks were lingering in the red Monday morning after a sharp slowdown in U.S. jobs growth raised concerns about the strength in the recovery of the world's largest economy and Canada's largest trading partner. Furthermore, a faster-than-expected rise in Chinese inflation weighed on commodities.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 34.24 points or 0.28 percent to 12,068.87, after dipping over 400 points or 3 percent in the past three sessions.

The Diversified Materials Index lost nearly 1 percent, with Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) slipping over 1 percent. Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) were down close to 1 percent each.

The price of crude oil was moving lower amid demand concerns after data showed the rate of inflation in China rose faster than expected. Also, disappointing jobs data from the US last week weighed on trader sentiment. Consumer price inflation in China accelerated by 3.6 percent in March, up from 3.2 percent in February and came in above expectations for a 3.3 percent increase. The data dampened expectations that China will introduce fresh monetary easing measures in the near-term. Crude for May delivery lost $1.91 to $101.40 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Bonterra Energy (BNE.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) slipped around 1 percent each.

Life sciences company Warnex Inc. (WNX.TO) dived over 16 percent even after it swung to profit in full-year 2011, reporting net earnings of C$0.5 million or C$0.01 per share compared to a net loss of C$1.7 million or C$0.03 per share the previous year.

Specialty transportation services provider Entrec Transportation Services (ENT.V) said its has completed the acquisition of Singer Specialized Group of Companies ("SINGER"). SINGER is based in Calgary, Alberta and specializes in the transportation of over-sized equipment within the oil and gas, petro-chemical, power generation and mining industries. The stock was down over 3 percent

Meanwhile, gold stocks were trading marginally higher amid a surge in bullion prices. The price of gold was extending gains for a second session Monday morning amid a steady U.S. dollar, with gold for June gaining $15.20 to $1,645.30 an ounce.

Among gold plays, Allied Nevada Gold (ANV.TO), Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Goldcorp. (G.TO) gained close to 3 percent each.

West Africa focused gold miner Avion Gold Corp. (AVR.TO) jumped over 15 percent after announcing record first quarter 2012 production.

Closed-end real estate investment trust Huntingdon Capital Corp. (HNT.TO) edged up 0.50 percent after it said it would divest 5 Ontario retail properties, including Portage Place, for about $80 million.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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