CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as oil and gold prices slide

Thu Jan 6, 2011 10:56am EST
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*TSX down 19.93 points at 13,376.06

*Energy, materials drag index lower (Updates with details, commentary)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower on Thursday morning, its third day of losses, as some commodity prices slipped and some U.S. data disappointed a market that has become optimistic about the outlook for the North American economy.

New U.S. claims for jobless benefits moved higher last week, but a decline in the four-week average to a nearly 2-1/2 year low indicated a trend toward better labor market conditions remained intact. [ID:nN06111595]

U.S. crude oil retreated from $90 a barrel after the data, and gold fell for a fourth straight session as the U.S. dollar firmed and risk appetite improved after a raft of generally better-than-expected U.S. economic indicators. [GOL/] [O/R]

Gold miners extended their recent decline, dropping 1 percent, with Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO losing 1 percent to C$49.34, and Agnico Eagle AEM.TO shedding almost 2 percent to C$69.93.

"A lot of commodities have been softer in the new year, particularly the golds have been correcting pretty hard," said Aaron Fennell, senior market strategist at commodity futures brokerage Lind-Waldock, a division of MF Global.

Fennell said gold was sitting around a significant support level near $1,370 an ounce.   Continued...