TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Tuesday as gold miners followed the price of bullion lower and energy stocks also weighed, although their retreat was not as great as that notched by crude oil.
The index is heavily influenced by its resource-linked issuers and is down around 9 percent so far this year as weak commodity prices have squeezed earnings in those sectors.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 37.13 points, or 0.28 percent, at 13,280.39. Half of the 10 main groups fell.
Gold prices fell to their weakest since 2010, under pressure from expectations the Federal Reserve is set to raise U.S. interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. [GOL/]
Oil and natural gas producers fared better - the group slipped 0.8 percent - despite a 2.6 percent drop in crude oil, which one analyst said may indicate a recent sell-off had gone far enough and that investors are betting on crude prices stabilizing.
"It tells me we're probably getting washed out," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada. "We may also be getting close to a low for the crude price, but we'll see about that."
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) fell 4.3 percent to C$93.57 after Morgan Stanley cut its earnings estimates and price target for the stock.
The index had jumped on Monday after two weeks of downward momentum.
"After you have a blowout day like you did yesterday and then you had eight days in a row prior to that of dropping, one has to wonder if it is a dead-cat bounce or one has to wonder if there is follow-through, and so I can understand the market being tentative today," said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) pared earlier gains to end up 0.4 percent at C$49.63 following news it is cutting 5 percent of its workforce in response to low crude prices.
Additional reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chris Reese