Gold miners lead TSX lower after nearing 18-month high

Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:48pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dipped lower on Friday as falling bullion prices pressured gold miners and investors paused following a steady climb this year to near 18 month highs.

The index, which has risen 3.1 percent since the new year, touched its highest level since August 2, 2011 earlier in the session before retreating. In the United States, the benchmark S&P 500 saw its eighth straight day of gains and closed above the 1,500 level for the first time in more than five years.

"To see a pause on today is not a surprise. We've had a very healthy move in the market year-to-date," said Jeff Bradacs, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

"That's been driven by both good economic data in the U.S., signs of encouragement with the housing market. Also we've seen good earnings."

Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far this quarter, nearly 70 percent reported better-than-expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 6.99 percent, or 0.05 percent at 12,816.63. The index added 0.7 percent for the week.

Four of the index's 10 main sectors ended in negative territory.

Six of the top seven biggest drags in the index were gold miners. Kinross Gold Corp K.TO led, slumping 4.7 percent to C$8.58, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO fell 1.6 percent to C$35.81. Eldorado Gold Corp ELD.TO tumbled 5.3 percent to C$11.55 and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO was off 1.3 percent at C$33.02.   Continued...

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