TSX falls for 2nd day as miners struggle

Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:08pm EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX fell for a second straight session on Thursday, touching a one-week low in choppy trading, as a fall in copper and gold prices weighed on the influential mining sector.

Copper extended losses into a fifth day as demand prospects dimmed due partly to Europe's debt woes. Gold prices fell as some safe-haven buying eased with nervous investors reacting to headlines painting a mixed picture for Europe.

The heavily-weighted materials sector, home to base metal and gold miners, fell more than 1 percent. Financial stocks, down 0.6 percent, were the next biggest drag.

"The groups that are most vulnerable to events out of Europe are the financials and the commodities," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities.

Base metals miners fell 2.5 percent, led by First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote), down 7.9 percent to C$18.20. The miner's stock has dropped more than 20 percent the last two sessions.

Shares of Silver Standard Resources (SSO.TO: Quote) also weighed as they plunged to their lowest point in nearly three years, a day after the company cut the reserves at its Pirquitas mine in Argentina by more than half.

TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote), down 1.8 percent to C$39.85, was the third most influential decliner. It fell after a U.S. move to put off a decision on whether to approve its proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline for 18 months.

Canadian lenders, which have less exposure to risky European debt holdings than their global counterparts, were down slightly. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) was the biggest drag on the financials sector, falling 1.6 percent to C$71.45.   Continued...