CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as commodity prices weigh on resources

Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:11am EST
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* TSX down 20.10 points, or 0.16 percent, at 12,790.11
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Materials group down 1.4 percent as commodity prices slip

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Wednesday with weak commodity prices weighing on resource
shares as the market awaited release of minutes from the most
recent U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, looking for clues on the
state of the world's largest economy.
    Investors also tracked data that showed groundbreakings for
U.S. homes fell in January but new permits for construction rose
to a 4-1/2-year high, reinforcing expectations the housing
market will support economic growth this year. 
    The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting,
to be released later in the day, were expected to offer hints on
any Fed plans to modify its loose monetary policy due to changes
in economic conditions.
    "Investors are fairly confident that the worst is over, that
we are going to have an economic recovery, but it's going to be
substandard," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at
MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 20.10 points, or 0.16 percent, at 12,790.11
at midmorning on Wednesday. Seven of the index's 10 main sectors
were in the red.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped
1.4 percent. Gold and silver prices fell to six-month lows ahead
of the Fed meeting. 
    "The question is whether they (commodity prices) are going
to bottom and start moving up," Nakamoto said. He expects them
to rise in the second half of this year.
    The biggest decliners on the index were the miners. Silver
Wheaton Corp dropped 3.7 percent to C$33.71. Yamana
Gold Inc was down 3.4 percent at C$14.71, and Goldcorp
Inc fell 1.3 percent to C$33.60.
    The energy sector fell 0.1 percent as oil prices declined.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, were up 0.4
percent. Bank of Nova Scotia gained 1.2 percent to
C$59.88, and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.6 percent to