CANADA STOCKS-TSX retreats as resources slip
* TSX down 52.66 points, or 0.43 pct, at 12,149.38 * Eight of 10 sectors negative * Weak resources offset stronger financials By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday, hitting its lowest level in more than five weeks as soft commodity prices trumped positive sentiment over stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and company results. Gold miners and oil and natural gas producers were among the heaviest decliners as oil prices eased on worries over global demand, while safe-haven bullion fell on upbeat U.S. retail sales numbers. Barrick Gold dropped 1.7 percent to C$37.66, Goldcorp Inc lost 1.6 percent to C$41.98 and Canadian Natural Resources retreated 1.8 percent to C$29.71. Serge Pepin, head of investments at BMO Investments Inc, noted however that the spread between gold miners and the price of bullion has narrowed recently, a positive sign for the sector. At 10:33 a.m. (1433 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 52.66 points, or 0.43 percent, at 12,149.38. Earlier, the index touched a session low of 12,137.18, its weakest level since Sept. 6. Eight of the 10 sectors were negative. Financials were buoyed by sentiment on Wall Street, after Citigroup posted adjusted earnings that surged from the prior year and beat expectations. Canadian banks and insurers are also expected to report impressive earnings, offsetting poor financial results for commodity producers. Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.3 percent to C$53.36 and Manulife Financial climbed 0.3 percent to C$11.89. On the data front, U.S. retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more cars and gasoline, while retail sales, excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, pointed to stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter. "There is quite a bit of uncertainty in the markets and investors are sort of taking it slowly, but definitely the economic news that we're receiving out of the U.S. is a step in the right direction," added Pepin. Meanwhile, recent numbers from China have clouded expectations on whether it will take further steps to shore up growth. A decline in the country's annual consumer price inflation pointed to ample room for policy easing, but a strong rebound in September exports suggested policy changes may not be needed for now. Investors, pointing to the euro zone debt crisis also remained uncertain that Madrid will ask for financial aid, and whether or not Greece can agree on new austerity measures with its indebted lenders.
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