CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower in broad-based retreat

Mon Feb 2, 2009 5:33pm EST
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* TSX touches lowest level since Jan. 23

* Lower gold price helps to drag down materials

* Energy group retreats with oil price (Adds details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell broadly on Monday, as commodity issues were pressured by softer oil and gold prices, while financials were hit by concerns about the world economy and the ailing U.S. banking sector.

Tumbling commodity prices combined to push the materials and energy sectors down 2.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, while financials slid 0.8 percent.

Among heavyweight issues pressuring the index, Barrick Gold ABX.TO was down 2.9 percent at C$44.79, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO slipped 2.5 percent to C$35.42, as the price of gold dropped as short-term investors took profits. [ID:nL2227333]

Energy company Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO fell 2.5 percent to close at C$42.80, retreating along with the price of crude CLc1, which settled at $40.08 a barrel, down 3.84 percent.

The price of crude fell as demand concerns were fueled by gloomy economic data, including a drop in U.S. consumer spending in December. [ID:nSYD119442]   Continued...