CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower as gold miners pressured

Mon May 3, 2010 5:01pm EDT
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   * TSX closes down 14.19 points, or 0.12 pct, at 12,196.51
 * Miners pressured by profit-taking, Australia tax
 * Financial sector rises on optimism over Europe aid deal
 (Updates to close)
 By John McCrank
 TORONTO, May 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed lower on Monday as gold miners fell on profit-taking,
outweighing a rise in financials and general market optimism
over an aid package for Greece.
 Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO, the world's biggest gold
producer, dropped 2.2 percent to C$43.34, while Agnico-Eagle
AEM.TO fell 1.7 percent to C$63.35.
 Goldcorp Inc G.TO, which said it agreed to sell its
Escobal silver deposit in Guatemala for $505 million, lost 1.7
percent to C$43.16. [ID:nN03224031]
 The price of U.S. spot gold rose to its highest point this
year after a hefty recent rally built on safe-haven buying due
to fears of sovereign debt problems in Europe, but investors
decided to take a step back from gold-mining stocks. [GOL/]
 "Gold stocks in recent days seem to have gotten a little
ahead of themselves, so a pullback today could very well be due
to profit-taking on some of the biggest gainers in that
sector," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global
Securities in Vancouver.
 The resource-laden TSX may also have been pressured by news
that the Australian government put a 40 percent tax on mining
profits to help raise workers' retirement incomes, sparking
warnings that huge new investments could be lost.
 "I think maybe that has an impact because people are
worried that may happen more globally," said Paul Harris,
portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
 The index's materials sector, home to miners and fertilizer
companies, fell 2 percent.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed down 14.19 points, or 0.12 percent, at
 "There certainly is an element of caution in the market,
but the underlying sentiment is quite strong," Picardo said.
 Offsetting the weakness in the materials sector was a 0.5
percent rise in financial issues, which were encouraged by
hopes of stability resulting from the Greek aid package and by
data that indicated the U.S. economy was on firmer footing.
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country's biggest lender,
was up 1.4 percent to C$62.42, while Bank of Nova Scotia
BNS.TO rose 1.8 percent to C$52.69.
 On the earnings front, gold miner Red Back Mining Inc
RBI.TO posted a first-quarter profit that missed market
expectations on lower production and higher costs, sending its
shares down 8.6 percent to C$24.40.
 Shares of Shaw Communications Inc SJRb.TO fell 1.9
percent to C$18.72 after the company said it agreed to buy the
television operations of Canwest Global Communications CGS.V
for C$1.2 billion plus the assumption of debt.
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Additional reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter