TSX tumbles to 2012 low on Greek worries

Tue May 8, 2012 7:44pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks hit a 2012 low on Tuesday, as resource and financial shares floundered after a threat by new leadership in Greece to renounce the country's bailout terms raised fears of a new flare-up in the euro zone debt crisis.

On Tuesday, Greece's Leftist candidate for prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, set conditions for a new coalition that the centrist conservative party said would drive the country out of the euro.

Markets roiled at the news, and Canadian stocks sank for a fifth straight session.

"We're down almost 700 points since last Wednesday," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities. "That's a heck of a haircut in a short period of time."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 155.92 points, or 1.3 percent, at 11,704.74. It was the index's lowest close since December 19.

The TSX has fallen more than 5 percent since the beginning of May.

Eight of the TSX's 10 main sectors finished in the red. Losses were led by the heavyweight materials group, which tumbled 2.8 percent as miners were hit by a sharp drop in gold and base metals prices. <GOL/> <MET/L>

Top gold producers Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) were the sector's most influential decliners. Barrick, the world's largest gold miner, fell 2.5 percent to C$36.71 and Goldcorp sank 4.3 percent to C$34.40.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch