TSX dives more than 2 percent as commodities fall

Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:21pm EST
 
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index tumbled more than 2 percent on Thursday, nearing a one-month low, as rising yields on European bond sales sparked a widespread selloff in commodities that sent material and energy shares lower.

Falling gold, copper and silver prices played havoc with TSX mining stocks, which plunged more than 4 percent. Gold miners accounted for most of that as bullion's worst one-day drop in nearly two months caused the gold-mining subindex to fall 3.5 percent. <GOL/>

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), down 3.8 percent at C$50.66, and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), down 2.1 percent at C$52.38, led the slide.

Copper fell 3 percent to its worst one-day decline in three weeks, while silver slid nearly 7 percent. <MET/L>

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 258.93 points, or 2.13 percent, at 11,915.43, its lowest point since October 21.

The TSX's retreat mirrored the downturn on global markets after a rise in Spain's borrowing costs to almost 7 percent at an auction kept European debt contagion fears alive.

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"The sentiment on the economic outlook for the euro zone appears to be becoming ever more grim," said Pat Mohr, a commodity market specialist at Scotia Capital.   Continued...