By John Tilak
TORONTO, April 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Tuesday with gold-mining stocks taking a beating as the price
of bullion tumbled and investors gravitated towards riskier
assets following U.S. and European economic data.
A 4 percent decline in the gold-mining group, which is down
about 20 percent since the start of the year, more than offset
gains in sectors such as financials and energy.
Markit's Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell in March but topped
a preliminary estimate. In the United States, new orders for
factory goods rose in February and sales of sport-utility
vehicles and pickup trucks jumped in March.
U.S. and European stocks also rose on Tuesday, but the
widespread market optimism resulted in a lack of safe-haven
interest and sent the price of gold to a 2-1/2 week trough.
'The selling has been quite relentless,' said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver. 'You're seeing a shift from speculative assets
such as gold to better performing assets like equities.'
'Gold has not lost its safe haven status,' he added. 'But
there simply isn't as much demand for safe haven assets as there
used to be a couple of years ago.'
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 13.04 points, or 0.10 percent, at
12,682.10. Seven of the 10 main sectors of the index were
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was down
3 percent as the price of bullion declined 1.5 percent.
Goldcorp Inc slid 3.4 percent to C$32.82, and Barrick
Gold Corp fell 2.6 percent to C$28.71.
Financials, the index's weightiest sector, added 0.9
percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest
bank, was up 1.6 percent to C$62.22.
Energy shares climbed 0.3 percent. Suncor Energy Inc
gained 1.2 percent to C$31.20.
Shares of TransCanada Corp rose 0.7 percent to
C$49.65 after it said it has begun to seek commitments from
parties interested in transporting crude oil from Western Canada
to Eastern Canadian markets on a natural gas pipeline it intends
to convert to oil.
(Editing by Peter Galloway)
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