Canadian stocks fell as industrial and commodity shares led declines amid reports showing U.S. manufacturing slid and China’s factory output trailed forecasts.
Nine out of 10 groups in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index dropped. Canadian National Railway Co. slumped 1.5 percent, while Canadian Pacific Railway lost 2 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Silver Wheaton Corp. sank more than 1.7 percent, as the S&P’s GSCI measure of 24 commodities dropped 0.8 percent.
The S&P/TSX fell 49.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,700.62 at 11:31 a.m. in Toronto. The benchmark gauge for Canadian equities is up 2.2 percent this year. Trading volume was 37 percent below the 30-day average.
“This is the beginning of a choppy period that may lead into a traditional May, June correction, which is why I’m positioning myself conservatively,” Keith Richards, fund manager with ValueTrend Wealth Management, said by telephone from Barrie, Ontario. His firm manages about C$100 million ($98 million). “The market looks for a trigger, whether it’s manufacturing data or something else.”
U.S. manufacturing expanded less than forecast in March as factories slowed production and orders waned. Factory output in China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals, rose less than estimated. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan index showed pessimism among large manufacturers. The U.S and China are Canada’s two largest trading partners.
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