CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls for sixth straight session

Wed May 9, 2012 5:07pm EDT
 
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* TSX ends down 29.73 pts, or 0.25 pct, to 11,675.01
    * First six-day losing string since June 2011
    * Losses pared after hitting 2012 low at 11,555.08
    * Materials rise on gold mining gains


    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, May 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell
for a sixth straight session on Wednesday as a rally by gold
miners was overshadowed by financial losses on mounting concerns
about political turmoil in Greece and Spain's fragile banking
sector.	
    Equity markets pared losses after euro zone governments
authorized the payment of bailout funds to Greece, despite
opposition from some member states following inconclusive Greek
election results. If Greece were not to receive the money, the
debt-stricken country would face financing problems because of a
lack of cash. 	
    Gold prices reversed course after hitting a four-month low
at $1,579.30 an ounce on Wednesday, helping Canada's heavily
weighted materials sector rise 0.7 percent. 	
    "We've seen a good rebound in gold stocks and energy groups,
and those two groups have been hit the hardest by the ongoing
slump in the index," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice
president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.	
    However, Picardo said the turnaround masked weakness in a
number of sectors, adding that the index appeared to be
repeating its spring slide of the last two seasons.	
    "This is the third year running that we've had Europe cast a
shadow on financial markets," he said.	
    After dropping sharply the past two days, Barrick Gold
 jumped 2.6 percent to C$37.65 and Goldcorp Inc 
was up 3.5 percent to C$35.60.	
    Greece moved closer to a second snap election on Wednesday
when the head of the biggest party launched a new attack on
radical leftist Alexis Tsipras, saying his plans for a new
government would push the country out of the euro zone.
 	
    Investors were also spooked on Wednesday when Spanish bond
yields rose above 6 percent, reflecting the rising costs of
fixing the country's banks and fueling fears Europe's debt
crisis could worsen.	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 finished down 29.73 points, or 0.25 percent, to
11,675.01, after earlier hitting a 2012 low at 11,555.08.	
    It was the TSX's longest losing skid since early last June,
when it fell for eight consecutive periods.	
    Eight of Canada's 10 main sectors were lower. Losses were
driven by a 0.8 percent drop in the heavyweight financial group.
Canada's two largest banks led the losses, with Royal Bank of
Canada falling 1.3 percent to C$53.37 and
Toronto-Dominion Bank slipping 1 percent to C$79.61.	
    After an afternoon rally, energy firms ended down 0.2
percent. Oil and gas producers tumbled as U.S. June crude
futures slid for a sixth straight session. 	
    Canada's top oil producer, Suncor Energy, fell 2.3
percent to C$29.07.	
    Canadian stocks have been battered more than their global
counterparts due to Canada's resource-heavy index and "high
exposure to gold and oil," said Barry Schwartz, vice president
and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.	
    "Canada has taken the brunt of it, although we seem to be
the furthest away from any impact of any European disasters,"
said Schwartz.	
    In other company news, shares of Canadian Pacific Railway
Ltd fell 0.6 percent to C$73.25 after activist investor
William Ackman's push to shake up Canada's second largest
railway gathered steam on Wednesday, with a third advisory firm
endorsing his entire slate of board nominees ahead of the
company's annual meeting next week.