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TSX Ends At 3-Month Low On US, China Data - Canadian Commentary

4/9/2012 4:30 PM ET

Canadian stocks closed at a three-month low Monday, mostly on some soft U.S. jobs growth data with renewed concerns about economic recovery in the world's largest economy and Canada's largest trading partner. Also impacting stocks were the faster-than-expected rise in Chinese inflation during March.

Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Monday at 12,018.50, down 84.61 points or 0.70 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 12,098.24 and a low of 12,004.15.

The TSX Venture Index closed at 1,448.65, down 32.39 points or 2.19 percent. The index opened at 1,475.49 compared to its previous close of 1,481.04.

Most major components of the S&P/TSX Index were in in the red, led by resource stocks. Among gainers were the Global Gold Index and the Capped Utilities Index.

The Diversified Metals & Mining Index shed 1.90 percent, with Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) dropping 1.91 percent and Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) slipping 1.90 percent. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) shed 1.37 percent while Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO) dropped 3.17 percent. Orbite Aluminae Inc. (ORT.TO) dropped 3.04 percent.

The price of crude oil ended lower amid demand concerns after data showed the rate of inflation in China rose faster than expected and some soft jobs data from the US last week. Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for May delivery, dropped $0.85 or 0.8 percent to close at $102.46 a barrel on the NYMEX Monday.

The Energy Index dropped 1.15 percent with Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) shedding 1.12 percent and Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) slipping 0.47 percent. Suncor Energy Inc. shed 0.23 percent, while Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) edged down 0.13 percent.

The Financial Index dropped 0.75 percent with Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) shedding 3.04 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) edging down 0.65 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) moved down 0.52 percent, while TD Bank (TD.TO) edged down 0.05 percent.

Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) gained 2.85 percent, while transportation systems maker Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) was flat with previous close.

Gold stocks were trading higher with gold for June delivery moving up $13.80 or 0.9 percent to close at $1,643.90 an ounce Monday on the NYMEX. The Global Gold Index gained 0.65 percent.

Among gold stocks, Avion Gold Corp. (AVR.TO) jumped 9.30 percent after announcing a record first quarter 2012 production.

Meanwhile, Lake Shore Gold Corp. (LSG.TO) dropped 3.16 percent while Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) edged up 0.87 percent. Goldcorp. (G.TO) gained 0.89 percent and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) moved up 0.72 percent.

The Materials Index slipped 0.65 percent with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) dropping 2.09 percent and Uranium One Inc. (UUU.TO) shedding 1.52 percent. Eastern Platinum Limited (ELR.TO) dropped 2.53 percent.

Life sciences company Warnex Inc. (WNX.TO) dived 16.67 percent despite reporting a swing to profit in full-year 2011, with 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 based in Calgary, Alberta. The stock gained 0.81 percent

Closed-end real estate investment trust Huntingdon Capital Corp. (HNT.TO) edged down 0.46 percent after announcing it would divest five Ontario retail properties, including Portage Place, for about $80 million.

In economic news, U.S. employment saw continued growth in March, according to a Labor Department report Friday, although well below economists expectations. Non-farm payroll employment increased by 120,000 in March, following an upwardly revised increase of 240,000 jobs in February. Economists expected the addition of about 201,000 jobs compared to the increase of 227,000 jobs reported for the previous month.

Inflation in China increased more than expected in March after easing to a twenty-month low in February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. The latest rise in inflation rate was mainly driven by rising food costs. Consumer price inflation in China accelerated by 3.6 percent in March, up from 3.2 percent in February. Analysts expected consumer price inflation to increase 3.3 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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