Golds drag TSX lower; Rogers rises after results

Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:33pm EST
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed weaker on Friday, touching its lowest point in nearly a month, as shares of miners such as Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) sank after the price of the precious metal hit a six-month low.

The decline outweighed gains made by Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) and Telus Corp (T.TO: Quote) after the telecom companies reported robust quarterly results.

Disappointing North American economic data also weighed on sentiment, including a report showing Canadian manufacturing sales registered the biggest monthly decrease since the Great Recession.

"All the data points coming out of Canada show the economy is slowing down appreciably," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"If you can look past the short-term risks, the opportunities continue to be in energy and materials," he said. "But we need a big turnaround in sentiment, especially for the gold producers."

The index's materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slid more than 2 percent. Goldcorp fell 2 percent to C$33.99 despite posting a lower-than-expected drop in adjusted quarterly profit on Thursday. Rival miner Barrick Gold fell 1.9 percent to C$31.82.

The bullion price sank to a six-month low on weak investor demand, currency uncertainty and a dearth of physical demand from China due to the Lunar New Year holiday. <GOL/>

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 35.16 points, or 0.28 percent, at 12,686.63, after dropping earlier to 12,667.70, its lowest point since January 17. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were trading higher.   Continued...

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