TSX closes lower as metal prices weigh on miners

Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:16pm EST
 
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By Julie Gordon

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX closed down on Monday as mining issues sagged on lower metal prices and euro zone debt worries stoked investor fears of a slowdown in global demand.

Materials issues led the fall, dropping 2.2 percent as gold and base metal prices slid on worries of softening demand from China, and concerns mounted that the European debt crisis will hurt global growth.

"I think everybody has just thrown up their hands and said 'we're out of here'," said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"Until we see a nice rebound in the price of metal commodities - I would expect the stocks to be directionless."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 95.68 points, or 0.82 percent, at 11,539.70.

Top base metal producer Teck Resources TCKb.TO slid 2.76 percent to C$34.21 and Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO: Quote) - which is building the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia - fell 4.78 percent to C$16.54.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's top gold producer, fell 0.75 percent to C$46.30, while Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO: Quote) was the biggest drag, skidding 12.54 percent to C$13.46, as the mid-tier gold miner entered into a C$2.5 billion ($2.4 billion) all-stock deal to buy European Goldfields.

While U.S. crude futures settled higher on worries over protests in Kazakhstan and sanctions against Iran, energy issues weighed on the TSX, falling 1.43 percent.   Continued...