CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as euro zone, Fed weighs
* TSX hits low of 12,182.19 * 9 of 10 main sectors lower * Materials, energy lead market rout By Jennifer Kwan TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Sliding resource stocks led Canadian equities lower on Wednesday on fresh worries about the euro zone debt crisis and after minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting released on Tuesday toned down expectations for further monetary stimulus. Big names on the downside included Goldcorp, down 1.7 percent at C$42.38, and Barrick Gold, which sank 1.1 percent to C$42.06 as the price of gold dove to their lowest levels in nearly three months. Suncor Energy sank 1.5 percent to C$32.25 and First Quantum dove 4.2 percent to C$18.30 as oil and metals prices retreated. A key driver pushing the market lower was concern about Europe's financial stability, said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. Toronto followed global stocks and the euro lower on Wednesday after policymakers in the United States dimmed hopes of fresh asset-buying, underlining its divergence from a Europe facing recession and firmly back in crisis-fighting mode after a weak Spanish bond sale. Concerns about Spain, the euro zone's fourth-largest economy, have fueled worries that the euro zone is in recession and that the sovereign debt crisis may flare up again. "Investors continue to react to headlines that are freaking them out," said Schwartz. "The last time we had flare-ups and worries about Europe the market proceeded to tank." At around 10:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was lower by 115.94 points, or 0.94 percent, at 12,207.67. It hit a low of 12,182.19, its weakest since Jan. 13. Nine of the index's 10 main sectors was lower, while telecoms eked out a 0.04 percent gain. Weak gold prices was also a main catalyst driving the market lower after policymakers in the United States dimmed hopes of fresh asset-buying. "It's negative for gold," said Schwartz. "They're not going to flood the economy with stimulus and devalue the U.S. dollar, which makes hard assets worth all that much more." A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. In company news, Bank of Nova Scotia, down 0.8 percent at C$54.97, could enter new markets in Asia as it expands its international footprint, and will not be held back by concerns about its capital levels, the bank's head of international banking told Reuters.
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