April 30th, 2012
* TSX down 55.79 pts, or 0.5 pct, at 12,181.96 * Financial, material issues fall * Soft data revives global growth fears By Jon Cook TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's resource-heavy main stock index fell on Monday with material and financial issues leading the way after weak economic data from North America and Europe heightened fears about the pace of global growth. Eight of 10 main sectors in the index were lower. Heavily-weighted materials and financials both dropped 0.8 as a host of data painted a bleak picture about global growth prospects. Data showed Spain, the euro zone's fourth largest economy, slipped into recession in the first quarter as domestic demand fell, adding to fears of a deepening euro-zone recession. Financial losses were led by top banks Toronto-Dominion Bank , down 0.9 percent to C$82.21, and Royal Bank of Canada , which sagged 0.9 percent to C$56.50. Top gold producers Barrick Gold, down 0.9 percent to C$39.53, and Goldcorp Inc, which slid 1.7 percent to C$37.73, also weighed as bullion prices paused after four straight sessions of gains. Goldcorp's shares were further pressured after Canada's No. 2 gold miner said environmental permit approval for its El Morro copper-gold project was suspended by the Supreme Court of Chile. "That all rolls into the weaker economic data that we've been seeing," said Philip Petursson, part of the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management. At 10:30 a.m., (1430 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's SP/TSX composite index was down 55.79 points, or 0.5 percent, at 12,181.96. Oil and gas producers fell as Brent crude prices slipped but held above $119 per barrel. TransCanada Corp slid 0.6 percent to C$42.91, and Encana Corp shares fell more than 2 percent to C$19.74. Weak North American data also hurt risk sentiment. A key gauge of business activity in the U.S. Midwest slowed more than expected in April, falling to its lowest since November 2009, a report showed on Monday. "The Chicago PMI was down quite a bit, and that might be spooking some people," said Petursson. "It's down from 62.2 to 56.2 so that's a big drop in a month. It means we're expanding at a much slower pace." In Canada, data revealed the economy unexpectedly declined 0.2 percent in February from January, led by temporary closures in mining and other goods-producing industries.
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