CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens lower as Cyprus spooks investors

Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:45am EDT
 
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* TSX down 32.14 points, or 0.25 percent, at 12,797.89
    * Cyprus bailout spooks investors
    * Banks and energy stocks hardest hit; gold miners rise

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, March 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
slipped on Monday, weighed down by energy and financial shares,
as skittish investors pulled back after Cyprus raced to revise a
radical bailout plan that included a divisive tax on bank
deposits. 
    The euro zone struck a deal on Saturday to hand Cyprus a
bailout worth 10 billion euros ($13 billion), but demanded
depositors in its banks forfeit some money to stave off
bankruptcy despite the risks of a wider bank run.
 
    The developments drove down global shares, the euro and oil
prices, while safe-haven gold surged.   
    "It's all Cyprus," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity
trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "This will be, I hope, relatively
short-lived but nevertheless it frightens everybody when you see
a country that is not living within its means."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 32.14 points, or 0.25 percent, at 12,797.89
by mid-morning, after falling further in early trade.
    Energy stocks fell sharply as the price of crude slipped $2,
with Suncor Energy down 1.3 percent to C$31.27.
    Banks were also among the biggest decliners, with Bank of
Nova Scotia  off 0.5 percent at C$60.05 and Toronto
Dominion Bank down 0.2 percent at C$84.84.    
    "I certainly don't think Canadian banks are all of a sudden
going to find themselves in the same spot," Ketchen said.
"However, it's more a reaction to the overall influence that
Cyprus is having on the psychology of the market."
    Gold hit a two-week high as its safe haven properties proved
alluring, helping Canada's long-suffering gold miners offset
some of the broader losses.
    Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.5 percent to C$29.65 and
Goldcorp Inc gained 1.1 percent to C$33.51.