Resources pull down TSX as "fiscal cliff" eyed
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks fell on Tuesday, weighed down by losses in heavyweight gold-mining and energy shares as bullion and oil dipped and investors brushed off a Greek debt deal, focusing instead on sluggish talks to avoid a looming U.S. fiscal crisis.
The U.S. Congress advanced by inches toward compromise on taxes and spending to try to avert the "fiscal cliff" that some fear will spur a recession but a firm deal still seemed miles away despite growing pressure from business interests for action.
"This is going to continue ad nauseam. Fiscal cliff is the theme of the day," said Levente Mady, a senior portfolio manager at PI Financial Corp in Vancouver.
Initial optimism about a Greek debt-reduction deal gave way to worries about the lack of detail in the plan, hurting the euro. <FRX/>
"Obviously we had that bailout agreement in Greece and the euro is less than impressed with that package, so things are a little bit under pressure as a result of those two items," Mady said.
The dual concerns weighed on oil and gold prices, and that pushed the shares of some of Canada's biggest resource companies lower. <GOL/> <O/R> Miner Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) was the biggest drag on the index, falling 4.5 percent to C$38.95.
MINERS NOT PRIVY TO GOLD'S RISE
Other heavily weighted resource stocks also slipped. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) lost 1.3 percent to C$32.89, and miner Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) and oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) both shed 1.6 percent, to C$34.40 and C$27.92 respectively. Continued...