CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 7-week low on exit from resources

Wed May 4, 2011 11:03am EDT
 
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 * TSX sheds 1.28 percent to 13,518.39
 * Commodity prices continue retreat
 * Disappointing results add to market's negative sentiment
 * Nine index sectors fall
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, May 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell
sharply on Wednesday morning, pulled down by lower prices for
oil and other commodities and extending losses from Tuesday,
when it suffered its biggest one-day drop in almost two
months.
 Disappointing results and forecasts at some blue-chip
Canadian companies also weighed, as did an industry report that
showed the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector eased
unexpectedly in April. [ID:nN04125050] .
 Crude oil futures fell in volatile trade, while copper
dropped to a seven-week low. Silver and gold recovered some
losses but precious metals remained under pressure after a
strong rally in the past few weeks. [O/R][GOL/] [MET/L]
 "Commodity prices have been coming down the last few days
and it seems to be hitting stocks," said Ian Nakamoto, director
of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
 The index's energy group, down more than 2 percent,
suffered an additional blow from a quarterly loss reported by
independent oil and gas producer Talisman Energy TLM.TO. Its
stock slid about 6 percent to C$21.09, one of the biggest falls
on the index. [ID:nN03291511]
 Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), off 3 percent at
C$41.91, was slightly more of a drag on the overall index.
 At 10:50 a.m. (1450 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 173.98 points, or
1.28 percent, at 13,518.39, hitting its lowest point in seven
weeks. Nine of its 10 sectors were lower.
 The index's materials group, down more than 1 percent, was
pulled lower by Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote), even though it reported a
quarterly profit that beat expectations due to strong
fertilizer prices. Analysts said weakness in the share price
was linked to the company's forecast of a slightly weaker
second-quarter performance than analysts had expected.
[ID:nN04213122].
 Agrium fell more than 5 percent to C$79.26.
 Torstar (TSb.TO: Quote) was another notable decliner, falling more
than 10 percent to C$12.21 after the publisher of Canada's
biggest daily newspaper reported lower-than-expected quarterly
profit. [ID:nL3E7G41ZN]
 Grocery chain Loblaw Cos Ltd (L.TO: Quote) rose 2.1 percent to
C$40.90 after reporting higher quarterly earnings as margins
improved and a drive to boost the profitability of its
private-label products bore fruit. [ID:nN03152408]
 Magna International (MG.TO: Quote) climbed 1.5 percent to C$49.20
after it reported a 44 percent jump in quarterly profit and
beat expectations. [ID:nN03126866]
 ($1=$0.96 Canadian)
  (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)