REFILE-CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips as bank weakness offsets gold rise
(Refiles to fix spelling error in headline)
* TSX falls 0.13 percent to 10,676.32
* Profit-taking in financials outguns rally in gold miners
* Healthcare up 3.73 pct as MDS sells unit, plans more (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower on Wednesday morning as weak oil prices and concern about the strength of the economic recovery outgunned strength in gold-mining shares.
Investors continued to take profits in financial stocks after Canadian banks reported strong earnings the previous week, taking the financial group 1.1 percent lower. The group rose about 6 percent last week, and has handed back a slice of those gains in the past two sessions.
Leading decliners included Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, down 1.1 percent at C$54.93, Toronto Dominion Bank TD.TO down 1.4 percent at C$65.11, and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) down 1.2 percent at C$21.43.
"The big banking groups had a run, and expectations are that a pullback is logical and needed," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
At 10:25 a.m. (1425 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 13.46 points, or 0.13 percent, at 10,676.32. Five of the index's 10 main sectors were lower, including a 0.5 percent decline in the weighty oil and gas group as the price of oil slipped below $68 a barrel.
Private-sector job data showed U.S. companies cut more jobs than expected in August, pressuring already-fragile sentiment about the depth of the economic recovery.
The index's materials group, home to gold miners, was a bright spot that helped limit the decline. The price of the gold hit a four-week high of $966.20 an ounce as concerns over falling equities pushed the precious metal through technical resistance levels in the wake of U.S. jobs data, and amid weakness in the dollar index. [ID:nL2167301]
"Golds are the big feature. With the pullback of the markets, gold has been a beneficiary of the move," Ing said. "Expectations are that a lower U.S. dollar, together with the prospect of even more spending by the (U.S.) government is awfully good for gold and the gold stocks."
The healthcare group was also a big advancer, up 3.73 percent as MDS Inc MDS.TO said it had struck a deal to sell its Analytical Technologies division and will seek buyers for its Pharma division as it narrows its scope to concentrate solely on the medical isotope field. MDS soared more than 20 percent to C$7.76. [ID:nN02528673]
($1+$1.11 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)
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