CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles to 2012 low on Greek worries

Tue May 8, 2012 4:57pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

* TSX ends down 155.92 pts, or 1.3 pct, at 11,704.74
    * Lowest close since Dec. 19, 2011
    * Materials, energy and financials fall more than 1 pct
    * Greek uncertainty hurts sentiment

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, May 8 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks hit a 2012 low on
Tuesday, as resource and financial shares floundered after a
threat by new leadership in Greece to renounce the country's
bailout terms raised fears of a new flare-up in the euro zone
debt crisis.	
    On Tuesday, Greece's Leftist candidate for prime minister,
Alexis Tsipras, set conditions for a new coalition that the
centrist conservative party said would drive the country out of
the euro. 	
    Markets roiled at the news, and Canadian stocks sank for a
fifth straight session. 	
    "We're down almost 700 points since last Wednesday," said
Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities. "That's a heck of
a haircut in a short period of time."	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 finished down 155.92 points, or 1.3 percent, at
11,704.74. It was the index's lowest close since Dec. 19.	
    The TSX has fallen more than 5 percent since the beginning
of May.	
    Eight of the TSX's 10 main sectors finished in the red.
Losses were led by the heavyweight materials group, which
tumbled 2.8 percent as miners were hit by a sharp drop in gold
and base metals prices.  	
    Top gold producers Barrick Gold and Goldcorp Inc
 were the sector's most influential decliners. Barrick,
the world's largest gold miner, fell 2.5 percent to C$36.71 and
Goldcorp sank 4.3 percent to C$34.40.	
    "With the decline in prices you're starting to get that
cleansing process where the baby gets thrown out with the bath
water," said Arthur Salzer, executive director and chief
executive officer of Northland Wealth Management.	
    Base metals miners were led lower by copper miner Teck
Resources, down 2.4 percent to C$33.53, and Silver
Wheaton, off 3.2 percent to C$26.43.	
    The unfolding Greek drama may have implications for other
struggling euro zone nations such as Spain, which could follow
suit in rejecting harsh austerity constraints, said Gavin
Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy.	
    "If Spain chooses to renegotiate its bonds and make foreign
bond owners eat a 75 percent haircut, which is what happened in
Greece, then effectively the French and German banking systems
are going to be under severe stress," said Graham.	
    Canadian financial firms, which have less exposure to risky
European debt holdings than their global counterparts, were down
1.2 percent. Losses were led by major lenders Royal Bank of
Canada, down 1.7 percent at C$54.09, and
Toronto-Dominion Bank, off 1.5 percent at C$80.42.	
    Energy shares were also down, slipping 1.1 percent. Oil
prices fell for a fifth day running on Tuesday, with U.S. crude
down 8.62 percent, the biggest five-day percentage loss since
    Suncor Energy, Canada's largest oil producer,
dropped 1.5 percent to C$29.77. Canadian Natural Resources
 dropped 3 percent to C$30.69.	
    In other company news, shares of Research In Motion Ltd
 rose 2.1 percent to C$12 after the struggling
BlackBerry maker named chief marketing and operating officers on
Tuesday ahead of the launch of its next-generation BlackBerry 10
smartphones later this year. 	
    Canadian Pacific Railway stock fell 1.1 percent to
C$73.69 after the head of U.S. hedge fund Pershing Square
Capital Management said on Tuesday that the future of Canada's
second-biggest railway should be decided by shareholder vote.