CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as euro zone, Fed weighs

Wed Apr 4, 2012 10:40am EDT
 
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* 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.