CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps more than 1 percent in gold, oil rout

Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:10pm EDT
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(Updates throughout; adds ScotiaMcLeod analyst comments, market action)

* TSX down 217.29 points, or 1.48 percent, to 14,425.55

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups were down

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, July 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed sharply lower on Monday, in a broad-based rout led by a massive plunge in gold mining and energy shares, hurt by a sharp retreat in commodity prices.

Gold plunged more than 4 percent to five-year lows as sellers in New York and China, a top consumer, dumped the precious metal. With the greenback strengthening ahead of an expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year, investors have been moving away from holding safe-haven gold.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude sank below $50 a barrel, as a rallying greenback and signs of ample supply pressured the commodity.

The biggest drags on the index were gold miners, with more than a dozen gold names seeing double digit percentage drops.

Barrick Gold Corp topped the list, plunging nearly 16 percent to C$9.58, and Goldcorp Inc diving 12.4 percent to C$16.74.   Continued...