CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls sharply as gold miners feel bullion's pain

Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:13am EDT
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* TSX falls 1.5 percent to 12,300

* Bullion fall to 21 month low hits gold miners hard

* Disappointing U.S. retail sales data cast pall over Canada exporters

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell sharply on Friday, with gold miners leading a broad sell-off as the price of bullion plummeted and as contracting U.S. retail sales data signaled flagging momentum in Canada's largest export market.

The index fell well over 1 percent in morning trade, with all ten main sectors in the red.

The country's gold miners, a large contingent on the stock market, were pummelled as the price of bullion broke through key support to hit its lowest level in 21 months.

Barrick Gold Corp was the single biggest weight, down more than 7 percent at C$23.20. The stock has fallen some 20 percent since the start of April.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 179.25 points, or 1.45 percent, at 12,300.00.   Continued...