TSX falls as resource stocks make hasty retreat

Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:21pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended in the red on Tuesday as investors fretted anew about prospects for global growth, pushing down oil and gas companies and other resource-based shares, but Blackberry maker Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO jumped after it released solid subscriber numbers.

The eight heaviest weights on the resource-rich Toronto index were all energy or mining companies. Banking stocks rose in morning trade, but they also retreated and closed lower.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 56.36 points, or 0.46 percent, at 12,257.18. On Monday it dropped 70 points, and has now declined in each of the last four sessions.

The index's fall came despite gains in copper and other base-metals prices as investors focused on signs that economic recovery is not assured despite the recent monetary policy easing undertaken by several major central banks.

"Equities as a group tend to move with broader-based macro-economic signals," said Patricia Mohr, vice president, economics, and commodity market specialist at Scotiabank.

"So if investors are worried about global economic growth...then sometimes equities can actually underperform where commodities prices are," she said, referring to a similar historical disconnect between the rising price of bullion and the lagging performance of gold miners.

Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) dropped 1.7 percent to C$32.23, while fellow oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) lost 1.7 percent to C$30.94. Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: Quote) slipped 1.7 percent to C$33.94 and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) fell 1.9 percent to C$21.47.

Diversified miner Teck Resources fell 1.8 percent to C$28.94, while major bullion producer Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) lost 0.4 percent to C$40.27 and competitor Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) dipped 0.5 percent to C$43.88.   Continued...

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