CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips for fourth straight session

Mon May 7, 2012 5:13pm EDT
 
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* TSX ends down 10.57 pts, or 0.1 pct, to 11,860.66
    * Index touches 2012 low at 11,785.74
    * Materials lead losses; financials rise
    * Greek, French election results weigh

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks finished down for
a fourth straight session on Monday as mining and energy shares
continued to slide after the election of anti-austerity leaders
in Greece and France fanned concern about the euro zone debt
crisis.	
    The weekend elections in the two European countries
heightened the uncertainty of the path ahead for the euro zone
debt crisis. Stocks initially tumbled, though by end of day
markets had largely shrugged off earlier losses. 	
    The impact from the switch in governments in France and
Greece was likely already discounted in last week's dive in the
Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index, said
Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH
Investments.	
    "Generally, markets like we saw on Friday are telling you
that somebody is smelling a shift in the winds, and as it turns
out that's exactly what did happen," said Hutcheon. "Markets
consolidated and today you're seeing the recognition of that
reality."	
    On Monday, the TSX closed down 10.57 points, or 0.1 percent,
at 11,860.66, after earlier touching a 2012 low at 11,785.74. 	
    The resource-heavy index was again hurt by a slide in
materials, down 1.6 percent, and energy stocks, which fell 0.3
percent. Both sectors trimmed losses after oil, gold and metal
prices rebounded from multi-month lows.   	
    Among material stocks, the most influential decliners
included top fertilizer producer Potash Corp, down 1
percent to C$41.89, Goldcorp Inc, off 1.4 percent to
C$35.93, and First Quantum Minerals, which sank 3.7
percent to C$18.13.	
    Inmet Mining Corp fell 8 percent to C$46.25 after
the Toronto-based miner on Monday raised projected development
costs for its Cobre Panama copper project in Central America by
more than 25 percent to $6.2 billion. 	
    Energy losses were led by Nexen, down 2.9 percent
to C$17.26 and Penn West Petroleum, off 3.7 percent to
C$15.06.	
    TransGlobe Energy Corp fell 7.3 percent to C$12.24
as crude prices slid, even though the oil and gas company 
reported its quarterly profit rose nearly four times.
 	
    Hutcheon said the weakness in the heavily-weighted materials
and energy sectors since the beginning of April was supportive
of the seasonal nature of the TSX and the index's spring swoons
of the last two years.	
    "There's a tremendous seasonality in these things," he
added. "The market is going to flounder around in here and try
to figure out what's going to happen after the next election,
which is the U.S. election."	
    So far this quarter Canada's material sector is
down 11.4 percent, while the energy group has shed 5.6
percent.	
    Despite the uncertainty in Europe, financial shares edged up
0.4 percent on Monday as Canada's major banks performed well.
Bank of Nova Scotia led the sector's slight gains, up
1.5 percent to C$53.59.	
    "The Canadian banks are always perceived as a relative safe
haven and that perception gets magnified when we have problems
on the other side of the Atlantic," said Robert Kavcic, an
economist at BMO Capital Markets.	
    In other news, Thompson Creek Metals slid more than
16 percent to C$4.61 after the molybdenum miner said it plans to
raise up to $430 million to help develop the Mt. Milligan
copper-gold mine in British Columbia. Toronto-listed shares of
the Denver-based company have fallen some 33 percent this year.