TSX hurt by global worries, closes lower

Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:18pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main equity index lost ground on Thursday as investors fretted over troubles in Europe, slowing growth in China and as hopes for swift stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve faded.

The commodity-rich index was hit by losses across a string of sectors, with some investors suggesting that the country's image as a safe haven amid global tumult was weakening.

"Canada's had its day in the sun," said Sadiq Adatia, the chief investment officer of Sun Life Global Investments Canada. He said U.S. stocks offered more promise as that country's housing market had bottomed and its consumers have paid down their debt.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE unofficially closed down 56.48 points, or 0.47 percent, at 12,062.51.

The TSX has underperformed the broad S&P 500 .SPX U.S. index so far this year after several years of outsized gains on the back of a commodity price boom.

Heavyweight energy and agricultural stocks slipped on Thursday, with fertilizer company Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) down 2.6 percent to C$41.12 and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) slipping 1.5 percent to C$31.25.

But gold miners limited the damage as they continue to climb out of a trough.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) added 1.6 percent to C$37.87, while smaller rival Centerra Gold Inc (CG.TO: Quote) jumped 11.2 percent to C$8.45.   Continued...

People walk past an electronic board displaying the midday TSX index in Toronto February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch