February 4, 2010 / 3:40 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops on resources, but BCE, Open Text rise

* TSX down 1.7 percent at 11,196.59

* Weak resource prices drag on energy, materials groups

* Infotech, telecoms rise on solid BCE, Open Text earnings (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index fell sharply on Thursday morning, hurt by weaker commodity prices and intensifying worry about sovereign debt in some euro zone countries.

A drop in gold and oil prices helped to pull down key blue-chip resource stocks such as Suncor Energy (SU.TO), which fell 4 percent to C$31.39, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), down 2.5 percent at C$37.09. [GOL/][O/R]

At 10:15 a.m. (1515 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 193.87 points, or 1.7 percent, at 11,196.59. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were lower.

Solid quarterly results from BCE (BCE.TO) and Open Text OTC.TO helped to lift the telecoms and infotech groups, the only two sectors in positive territory.

“Open Text, BCE, and Cisco in the States had good numbers and they’re all acting well. Other than that, there’s a negative tone to the market. I don’t see a lot of selling yet in terms of volume, but it just seems a bit of a buyers’ strike,” said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.

BCE Inc, the leading heavyweight advancer, was up 1.6 percent to C$28.05 after Canada’s biggest communications company said it returned to profit in the fourth quarter. [ID:nN03163570]

Open Text gained 9 percent to C$46.96 after its quarterly profit surged and as several brokerages raised their price targets on the business software maker. [ID:nN03156053] [RCH/CA]

The Toronto index’s drop was in line with sentiment that has knocked down overseas and U.S. stock markets, as Greece’s fiscal troubles have sparked renewed financial market concern.

The woes have raised questions about the sustainability of public finances in peripheral euro zone countries after the global economic downturn sparked surges in public debt and budget deficits that compound long-running problems. [ID:nEUROPEAND]

$1=$1.07 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway

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