TSX retreats on gold miner selloff, Ukraine fears

Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:13pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Wednesday, led by a sharp selloff in gold mining shares and broad declines in most other sectors, after comments from President Barack Obama revived worries about the crisis in Ukraine.

While the United States and the European Union decided to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions on Moscow, Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he thought he could divide the West or count on its indifference over his annexation of Crimea.

Data showed a rebound in orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods in February, with shipments showing strength after two straight months of declines.

But those bullish numbers weighed on the price of bullion, which slid toward the $1,300-an-ounce mark. As a result, shares of the yellow metal's producers recorded their biggest single-day drop in more than three months. <GOL/>

The Toronto market, which has swung back and forth on the Ukraine developments, has been grinding higher in 2014 and is up about 4 percent so far this year.

"The market is taking a little rest here, particularly in the light of the Ukraine situation," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.

"It's nothing dramatic," he added. "I'm not surprised that this little bit of consolidation is going on and I'm not that concerned just yet."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 115.39 points, or 0.81 percent, at 14,184.10. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.   Continued...

A sign displaying TSX information is seen in Toronto November 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch