3 Min Read
* TSX falls 21.60 points, or 0.18 percent, to 12,169.86 * Materials, bank shares lead decline * Shoppers Drug Mart up 3.5 percent on results By John Tilak TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Tuesday and touched a two-month low, pulled down by financials and material stocks, as investors dwelt on fears of a fiscal crisis in the United States and economic turmoil in Europe. Concern over whether U.S. politicians would be able to reach a deal to tackle the "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax rises that threatens to push the economy into recession continued to dampen sentiment, as did a new controversy over Greece's debt crisis. "The main thing hanging over the market right now is the fear of what's happening in the macroeconomy, whether it's Europe or the fiscal cliff in the United States or slower activity in China," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management. "All this feeds into the Canadian market through worries about what's going to happen to energy prices or commodity prices." Oil prices fell for the second day in a row over concerns about lower demand. Suncor Energy was the biggest contributor to the market's decline, falling 1.53 percent to C$32.88. The energy subgroup, one of the biggest on the index, was down 0.55 percent. At midafternoon, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 21.60 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,169.86. Earlier in the session, the index fell as lows as 12,124.35, its lowest point since Sept. 6. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, fell 1.30 percent, hurt by falling commodity prices. Goldcorp Inc fell 0.81 percent to C$43.05, and Barrick Gold Corp was down 0.73 percent at C$35.54. U.S. gold futures were down in midafternoon trade. "The falling commodity prices are more than offsetting the increase in production we're seeing across the resource sector. They are having a very large impact on stock prices," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. "By and large, the markets are going to be in a wait-and-see mode as we progress towards the end of the year," he said. Some financial stocks declined, with Toronto Dominion Bank falling 0.51 percent to C$80.27 and Manulife Financial Corp trading down 0.81 percent to C$12.20. The financial subsector was down 0.29 percent. Shares of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp rose 3.50 percent to C$42.56 after the pharmacy chain reported higher quarterly sales.