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Canadian stock market falls on gloomy economic data

English.news.cn   2013-03-02 08:25:34            

TORONTO, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian stock market closed lower on Friday as economic data from both Canada and China pulled commodity prices down and weighed down on resource stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slipped 48.71 points, or 0.38 percent, to 12,773.12, while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index decreased 13.27 points, or 1.17 percent, to 1,120.609.

China's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a preliminary readout of the country's manufacturing activity, fell for a second month to 50.1 percent in February from 50.4 percent in January, according to statistics from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) Friday.

Adding to the pressure on the market was Canada's gloomy economic news. Canada's gross domestic product(GDP), which measures total output of goods and services, expanded by 0.6 percent on an annual basis in the final three months of 2012, Statistics Canada said on Friday. The agency also reported that Canada's economy gained a growth of 1.8 percent in 2012, down from 2.6 percent in 2011.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the unexpectedly weak economy is hurting Ottawa's tax revenues, which means his upcoming budget may contain more federal spending cuts measures.

The metals and mining sector, which includes some global major gold miners, was the biggest drag on the main index following weak gold prices. Barrick Gold dropped 3.4 percent to 30.20 Canadian dollars per share.

The energy sector was the next biggest decliner as crude oil prices fell to a more than one-month low, losing all the gains so far this year. Suncor Energy lost 1.1 percent to 30.90 Canadian dollars per share.

Financial sector also fell a day after four of Canada's biggest banks reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profits. Royal Bank Canada dropped 0.4 percent to 63.77 Canadian dollars per share. Manulife Financial Corporation dropped 0.46 percent to 15.23 Canadian dollars per share.

At closing, the Canadian dollar strengthened to 0.9739 U.S. dollar at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT), compared with 0.9700 U.S. dollar on Thursday.

Editor: Sha Sha
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