TORONTO (Reuters) - Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) said on Thursday its third-quarter loss narrowed by 43 percent, as it took fewer writedowns and market-related charges than the year-before quarter.

Manulife, which owns U.S. insurer John Hancock, lost C$1.28 billion, ($1.27 billion) or 73 Canadian cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of C$2.25 billion, or C$1.28, when the company was hit by write-downs and charges.

Analysts had expected a loss of 53 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

(Reporting by Cameron French)