Barrick dive pushes TSX into red for day and week

Fri Nov 1, 2013 5:11pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Friday, hit by a plunge in Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) shares as the massive stock offering announced by the world's largest gold miner the day before got a cold shoulder from the market.

While banks and industrial stocks rose, Barrick's 7.7 percent fall to C$18.72 and smaller declines for a string of other gold miners pushed the index to a weekly decline after three weeks of gains.

Barrick said on Thursday it is issuing more than $3 billion in stock to help pay down debt.

"I gather that it has been a very tough issue to sell out there, from what I've heard," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management Inc, who holds Barrick stock and declined to buy into the new issue.

Barrick had fallen almost 6 percent a day earlier after saying it would halt development of its Pascua-Lama mine in South America indefinitely, a surprise reversal on a project that has already cost it more than $5 billion.

Among other gold miners, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) lost 4.6 percent to C$25.34 and Yamana Gold Inc (YRI.TO: Quote) gave up 6.2 percent to C$9.70. Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO: Quote) fell 5.7 percent to C$5.

"It (Barrick) certainly casts a pall on what investors might perceive as the environment for investing in that area right now," Sprung said.

The sharpest weekly fall in the price of bullion in seven weeks added to the miners' woes. <GOL/>   Continued...

An electronic board displays the midday TSX index in Toronto February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (C