CANADA STOCKS-TSX pulls back after recent gains

Wed Feb 2, 2011 4:46pm EST
 
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 * TSX ends down 0.24 percent at 13,680.29
 * Suncor flat after quarterly profit triples
 * Gold miners are main drag
 (Updates to close)
 By Leah Schnurr
 OTTAWA, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed
lower on Wednesday, ending a three-day winning streak as
investors saw little reason to push the market higher and
sought the safety of the sidelines as tension heightened in
Egypt.
 Analysts said the market was due for consolidation a day
after the S&P/TSX composite had its highest close since August
2008.
 "We saw the risk trade come rolling in yesterday. Those
risk on-risk/off plays tend to be very volatile, so today
investors are taking a slightly more cautious tone," said   
Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in
Vancouver.
 Canada's biggest energy company, Suncor (SU.TO: Quote), ended flat
after climbing more than 3 percent early in the day after it
said its quarterly profit almost tripled, helped by increased
production in the Alberta oil sands. The stock closed unchanged
at C$41.61. [ID:nN01139180]
 "We've yet to see Canadian companies begin reporting in a
big way and I think that might be the next catalyst to move
markets one way or the other," Picardo said.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed down 32.33 points, or 0.24 percent, at
13,680.29. Of its 10 main groups, only the tech sector ended
up.
 Shares of gold miners were among the biggest losers as gold
prices fell following encouraging U.S. economic data. The
index's materials group, home to gold miners, was down 0.3
percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) shed 1.9 percent to C$46.94,
while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) fell 1.2 percent to C$40.32.
 Data showed U.S. private employers added more jobs than
expected last month, adding to hopes that the weak labor market
is slowly recovering. [ID:nN02187589]
 On the upside, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) rose 1.2
percent to C$123.71 after it said it plans to raise annual
output at Zambia's largest copper mine to 400,000 tonnes a year
by 2015 from 250,000 tonnes. [ID:nLDE7110QM]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Peter Galloway)