CANADA STOCKS-TSX pinned lower as gold shares unloaded

Mon Jan 5, 2009 10:12am EST
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO Jan 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was pinned lower early on Monday as investors unloaded gold-mining shares as gold prices fell nearly 3 percent.

The bulk of the index's slide was due to a 4 percent skid in the materials group, home to heavily-weighted gold mining companies. Gold fell as low as $843.50 an ounce.

The lower open for the key index followed an 11 percent surge last week, when many traders were away for holidays, leaving the market prone to volatile swings.

At 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 83.68 points, or 0.91 percent, at 9,150.43. Nine of the index's 10 main groups were lower.

"A lot of people just have a wait-and-see attitude here right now and are cautiously optimistic after the market rallied in the last week of the year," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.

"So there is a little bit of profit-taking in the first bit of today's session and I think people are very day-to-day."

Shares of Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO, the biggest drag on the index, were down 5.6 percent at C$41.29, while Goldcorp G.TO shares fell 6.46 percent to C$35.62.

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO shares were 0.79 percent lower at C$43.74 after the bank said it plans to raise C$175 million in a preferred share offering to bolster its capital position.

($1=$1.20 Canadian) (Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway)