TSX extends selloff on China, Europe concerns

Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:57pm EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks retreated for a fourth straight session on Thursday with resource-related shares hurt by a commodities market that was softened by persisting worry over the euro zone debt crisis and sluggish Chinese economic data.

Gold miners continued to drop as bullion prices stayed near 2-1/2 month lows and were on track for the first monthly fall since September. <GOL/>

"Metals are basically sloppy," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "(Investor) enthusiasm is low.

"There's nothing in the news flow that's startling and the malaise continues."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's subindex of gold mining stocks .SPTTGD lagged the broader index, falling more than 1.5 percent. Its negative momentum was the biggest drag on the market's heavyweight materials sector, which dropped 1.2 percent.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) led the losses, down 1.5 percent at C$45.79. Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO: Quote) was the biggest percentage decliner, tumbling 4.6 percent to C$16.78.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's main S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 38.63 points, or 0.3 percent, at 11,504.42, its lowest close since November 28.

Energy-related shares dropped as U.S. crude oil futures fell more than $1 to $93.87 a barrel. <O/R> Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was down nearly 2 percent at C$27.59 to lead the sector's losses.   Continued...