CANADA STOCKS-TSX retreats as investors brace for jobs report

Reuters

(Adds details, comments from fund manager; updates prices) * TSX falls 56.90 points, or 0.39 percent, to 14,402.21 * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline * Gold-mining shares slip with bullion price By John Tilak TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Thursday as sluggish U.S. economic data increased investor anxiety ahead of an upcoming jobs report and a drop in bullion hurt gold-mining shares.

The Toronto market's weakness followed gains in each of the previous four sessions. It is up about 5.7 percent this year.

Investors also digested news that the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, though it said it was willing to act if inflation stays too low for too long.

Data released on Thursday showed a greater-than-expected rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week.

Investors are now awaiting the monthly U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, a key indicator of the health of the world's biggest economy.

"It seems like the market is a little tepid ahead of the jobs report tomorrow morning," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a subsidiary of Richardson GMP. "The economy seems to have hit a soft patch." "Commodities have helped the TSX outperform the U.S. market year-to-date," he added. "We continue to see that developing as the year progresses." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 56.90 points, or 0.39 percent, at 14,402.21. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index ended in the red.

Industrials stocks shed 0.5 percent. Canadian National Railway Co fell 0.6 percent to C$61.98, and Bombardier Inc was down 2.8 percent at C$4.16.

Shares of gold-mining companies lost 0.9 percent after the price of bullion fell. Goldcorp Inc gave back 1.7 percent to C$27.14, and Barrick Gold Corp declined 1.2 percent to C$20.24.

In corporate news, Goldcorp extended its takeover bid for Osisko Mining Corp. Osisko shares fell 1.8 percent to C$7.22.

Hudson's Bay Co slipped 5.1 percent, to C$17.86, after the retailer's 2014 profit forecast missed expectations.

($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway and Diane Craft)

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