CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends 2011 losses as oil, gold drag

Thu Jan 6, 2011 5:42pm EST
 
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   * TSX down 84.32 points, or 0.63 percent, at 13,311.67
 * Five of index's 10 main groups finish lower
 * Oil and gold prices fall
 * Valeant shares jump 18.76 percent
 (Adds details, comment)
 By Solarina Ho
  TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed sharply lower on Thursday as a slide in oil and gold
prices and disappointing U.S. economic data weighed on
heavyweight energy, mining and financial shares.
 Among oil companies, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) fell 2.88
percent to C$37.14, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote),
which said output at its Horizon oil sands project fell 22
percent in December, slid 3.03 percent to C$42.95.
[ID:nN06119399]
 Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) was another big decliner, down 2.64
percent at C$39.76. The energy group led the index's retreat,
falling 1.73 percent.
 Oil prices dropped more than 2 percent to below $89 a
barrel as a stronger dollar and December U.S. retail sales data
that missed Wall Street estimates deterred cautious investors,
who were waiting to see if recent positive economic reports
would translate into greater consumer demand. [O/R]
[ID:nN06127073]
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was off 0.92 percent at
C$51.61. Mining giant Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) extended its slump,
sliding 1.54 percent to C$49.07. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) also fell,
dropping 2.28 percent to C$42.94.
 The index's materials group, home to mining stocks, was
down 1.16 percent. Financial issues, often influenced by
economic factors, slipped 0.28 percent.
 Safe-haven bullion retreated for a fourth straight day as
the U.S. dollar strengthened and expectations grew that
Friday's U.S. employment data will beat forecasts. [GOL/]
 "Certainly the economic indicators have been good, so it's
almost like good news is bad news, especially for gold," said
Laura Lau, senior portfolio manager at Sentry Select Capital
Corp.
 "It looks like bond yields are in general going up, so gold
becomes a little less desirable. There's certainly some
profit-taking, there's no doubt about that."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed down 84.32 points, or 0.63 percent, at
13,311.67. Five of the index's main groups lost ground.
 The index, which gained 3.79 percent in December, has lost
1 percent in the first three trading days of 2011.
 "I think the market's got somewhat ahead of itself in
December...I'm not saying the market's expensive," said RKH
Investments's Rick Hutcheon. "I think that we have brought
ourselves to a point in the market where we're in need of a
consolidation or a correction. I think it's more a pause."
 In individual company news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) was one of the biggest gainers. Its
shares jumped 18.76 percent to C$35.45 after it said on
Thursday it expected to report quarterly results that exceed
analysts' expectations and issued a 2011 outlook that topped
forecasts. [ID:nN06118249]
 Shares of Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO, which was among
the top traded companies on the TSX by volume, were down 0.69
percent at C$1.43. Nunavut Iron Ore Chairman Bruce Walter said
his private equity-backed company has no plans to raise its
takeover bid for Baffinland but did not rule out a higher bid.
[ID:nN06221481] [ID:nN06130560].
($1=$1.00 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)