CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles for third straight week

* TSX drops 1.6 pct to 11,094.31; off 2.2 pct for week

* Index down more than 5 percent this month

* Economic data fails to calm “spooked” investors
(Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index sank
1.6 percent on Friday to close at its lowest level in three
months, pressured by weak commodity prices after stronger than
expected U.S. economic data sparked a rally in the greenback.

The heavyweight energy and materials sectors were among two
of the big drags on the index, down 1.2 percent and 3.5 percent
respectively, as prices for crude oil and gold drove lower.
[O/R] [GOL/]

Influential decliners included Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: ), down
3.1 percent at C$37.12, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO: ) dropped 1.7
percent to C$33.76.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) slumped for a
second straight session, down 4.8 percent at C$105.92.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: ) was the top heavyweight
decliner, falling 2.24 percent to C$52.28. The other four big
banks were also weaker.

Investors have worried about the financial sector since
President Barack Obama moved to introduce tighter regulations
on U.S. banks that would limit risk-taking. That could also
affect Canadian banking operations south of the border.

“The financials have been weak lately, whether it’s Mr.
Obama and the U.S. banks and all that foofaraw that’s going on
down there,” said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell
Securities.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
(.GSPTSE: ) finished down 179.89 points, or 1.6 percent at
11,094.31. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were lower, with
five of them off more than 1 percent each. The index lost 2.2
percent on the week, its third straight weekly decline. It is
down about 5.6 percent so far this year.

Unexpectedly strong fourth-quarter economic growth in the
United States, and healthy November gains in Canada, failed to
lift investors’ spirits, which have been deflated by recent
policy moves by China and the White House’s plan to rein in
risk-taking by big banks. [ID:nN28246399] [ID:nN29201456]

Worries over the fiscal health of Greece, and of some
smaller euro zone countries, curbed investors’ appetite for
risk.

“The problem is that, at this point the economic numbers
and corporate earnings have taken a back seat to some of the
concerns that have manifested themselves in recent weeks,” said
Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in
Vancouver.

“Investors are spooked.”

Picardo said earnings might still be able to play a bigger
role in driving investor sentiment.

Among active issues on Friday, Zarlink Semiconductor
(ZL.TO: ) gained more than 13 percent to C$1.20 after the
computer chip maker reported solid financial results and a
forecast that bettered analyst expectations. [ID:nN29211937]

($1=$1.07 Canadian)

Stock Today

(Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles for third straight week