Canada's main stock index kicked off the New Year on a lower note on Thursday, as China's economic data weighed on the energy and financial sectors.
Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index slipped 27.36 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13,594.19.
The latest official data showed that China's factory activity slowed in December, arousing investors'concern about the commodity price in the future, which brought the energy and financial sector down 0.73 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.
China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 51 percent in December, down from 51.4 percent in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.
An HSBC survey showed on Thursday that the final reading of China's PMI stood at 50.5 in December, down from 50.8 in November. A figure above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity.
Although economic data pointed to a strong performance of initial public offerings in the 2013 Canadian market, which raised 2.7 billion Canadian dollars last year, the 2014 outlook remains illusive amid the prospects of rising interest rates and continued uncertainty surrounding commodity prices, analysts said.
The base metals sector was down, and March copper dropped to 3. 38 U.S. dollars a pound. Teck Resources Limited, a resource company whose main products are steelmaking coal, copper, zinc and lead, decreased 0.25 percent to 27.58 Canadian dollars.
Meanwhile, light, sweet crude for February delivery also settled down 2.98 U.S. dollars, or 3 percent, at 95.44 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. CNOOC Limited, China's giant producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas, was down 1.15 percent to 195.72 Canadian dollars per share. Canada's energy producer, Encana Corporation, slipped to 18.91 Canadian dollars per share by 1.41 percent.
The financial sector, one of the strongest 2013 performers with a 22 percent gain, also moved lower as Manulife Financial Corporation lost 1.1 percent to 20.73 Canadian dollars. The second largest bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, was down 1.24 Canadian dollars to 98.87 apiece.
The Canadian dollar was down to 0.9373 U.S. dollar Thursday, compared with 0.9416 U.S. dollar in Tuesday's trading.