TSX slips for fourth straight session

Mon May 7, 2012 5:17pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks finished down for a fourth straight session on Monday as mining and energy shares continued to slide after the election of anti-austerity leaders in Greece and France fanned concern about the euro zone debt crisis.

The weekend elections in the two European countries heightened the uncertainty of the path ahead for the euro zone debt crisis. Stocks initially tumbled, though by end of day markets had largely shrugged off earlier losses. <MKTS/GLOB>

The impact from the switch in governments in France and Greece was likely already discounted in last week's dive in the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE, said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

"Generally, markets like we saw on Friday are telling you that somebody is smelling a shift in the winds, and as it turns out that's exactly what did happen," said Hutcheon. "Markets consolidated and today you're seeing the recognition of that reality."

On Monday, the TSX closed down 10.57 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,860.66, after earlier touching a 2012 low at 11,785.74.

The resource-heavy index was again hurt by a slide in materials, down 1.6 percent, and energy stocks, which fell 0.3 percent. Both sectors trimmed losses after oil, gold and metal prices rebounded from multi-month lows. <O/R> <GOL/> <MET/L>

Among material stocks, the most influential decliners included top fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote), down 1 percent to C$41.89, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote), off 1.4 percent to C$35.93, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote), which sank 3.7 percent to C$18.13.

Inmet Mining Corp IMN.TO fell 8 percent to C$46.25 after the Toronto-based miner on Monday raised projected development costs for its Cobre Panama copper project in Central America by more than 25 percent to $6.2 billion.   Continued...