3 Min Read
* Key index ends down 0.48 percent at 11,887.51
* China central bank tightening hits commodities
* Market focus shifts to Friday jobs data (Adds details)
TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index ended a five-session stretch of gains on Thursday as a drop in gold and oil prices pulled down a host of resource-related stocks, including Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO).
The price of crude oil fell from 15-month highs to below $83 a barrel, clipping a 10-day rally, and gold also fell, as signs of a tighter monetary policy in China sparked concern about demand. China is a major consumer of industrial raw materials. [O/R] [GOL/] [ID:nTOE60604H]
Canadian Natural Resources, down 2.3 percent at C$74.48, and Suncor, off 1.1 percent at C$38.82, played the biggest roles of any stocks in leading the market lower.
Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) fell 0.39 percent to C$43.21, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) dropped 1.25 percent to C$42.64.
"Commodity prices are off so our producers are down as well. That's largely being driven by news from China that it might be tightening credit," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 57.03 points, or 0.48 percent, at 11,887.51. Nine of the index's 10 main groups were lower.
The financial sector was also weaker, continuing a downtrend started earlier this week, with heavyweights Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) down 1.3 percent at C$46.91. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was the only major bank to gain, up 0.09 percent at C$55.39.
Despite the selloff in gold-mining shares, the index's materials group managed to eke out a 0.12 percent gain overall, helped by Potash Corp (POT.TO), which advanced for a fourth straight day. It led all heavyweight gainers, up 1.6 percent at C$129.29, a cumulative gain of 13 percent so far this year.
The market's intense focus on North American jobs data for December, due on Friday, also prompted some investors to take profits ahead of time.
"People who have been buying the market in the last few days have been pulling in their reins and seeing what levels the market will drift to," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)