TSX dips as U.S. fiscal fears weigh

Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:28pm EST
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks slipped on Monday, tracking global markets lower as investors reacted to a lack of visible progress in budget deficit discussions in Washington and worried over whether Greece will receive emergency aid to keep it financially afloat.

Toronto's main stock index also followed commodity markets lower, as traders awaited any advance in talks over a series of spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled to begin next year, which threaten to drag the economy back into recession.

"The biggest driver these days undoubtedly is the fiscal cliff issues in the U.S.," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Seven of the 10 sectors traded lower, with resource companies among the biggest drags as commodity prices retreated. .TRJCRB

Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: Quote) shed 1.8 percent to C$32.81, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) lost 0.4 percent to C$33.33 and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 0.6 percent to C$34.97.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 28.19 points, or 0.23 percent, at 12,185.05. It had hit a two-week high on Friday. Seven of the 10 sectors were weaker. Financials, the biggest group on the index, were little changed, supporting by expectations for healthy upcoming earnings.

"Last week was a terrific week for global equity markets including the TSX, so we came in this week expecting a little bit of giveback after the strong rally last week. That's happened in a fairly muted fashion," added Picardo.

Investors also kept an eye on Europe, though problems there are seen to have moved to the back burner for now.   Continued...

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