CANADA STOCKS-TSX marks 4th straight loss as resources drag

Fri Jan 7, 2011 5:25pm EST
 
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   * TSX down 39.37 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,272.30
 * Index falls 1.27 percent on the week
 * Oil has biggest weekly percentage loss in nearly 5 mths
 * Gold marks longest losing streak in 7 months
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell
for a fourth straight session on Friday, extending its 2011
losses as lower commodity prices and a fire in the Alberta oil
sands pulled down oil and other resource shares.
 Oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) fell 5.47
percent to C$40.60 after a fire late on Thursday halted
production at its 110,000-barrel-a-day oil sands project.
[ID:nN07198897]
  The energy group, which accounts for more than a quarter
of the index, led declines, dropping 1.1 percent as U.S. crude
oil futures ended the first week of the year with the biggest
weekly percentage loss in nearly five months. [O/R]
  Suncor Energy, Canada's biggest oil company, was off 0.43
percent at C$36.98.
  The index's materials group, home to gold miners, fell
0.64 percent. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) was down 1.02 percent at C$42.50,
while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) declined 0.77 percent to C$48.69.
 Gold prices suffered their longest losing streak in seven
months, sliding more than 3 percent this week and falling for a
fifth day on Friday after U.S. December jobs data failed to
spark safe-haven demand. [GOL/] [ID:nN06134458]
  The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 39.37 points, or 0.3 percent, at
13,272.30. For the week, the index fell 1.27 percent.
 "We're under a little bit of pressure today, but I don't
think it's anything disastrous," said Fred Ketchen, director of
equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
 "In the U.S., significant disappointment continues to
plague their economy...problems in the United States continue
and we need to be aware of the fallout that will continue to
come from our southern neighbors."
 Tempering the index's losses was a 0.37 percent gain in
financial issues, which got a lift from data that showed the
Canadian economy created more jobs than expected in December.
[ID:nN07212678]
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was up 0.79 percent at
C$52.02, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) gained 0.68 percent
to close at C$56.25. Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) rose 0.51
percent to C$74.20
 "There are a couple of factors that might be creeping in on
the back of today's data to impede gains in the short term:
those would be the stronger loonie and concerns about potential
rate hikes by the Bank of Canada in the months ahead," said
Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities.
 "You couple that with the fact that we've had an
exceptional run since December and it's not surprising to see a
minor selloff."
 A Reuters poll on Friday showed most of Canada's primary
securities dealers expect the Bank of Canada to resume raising
interest rates in the first half of this year. [ID:nN07208876]
 In individual company news, pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group
(PJCa.TO: Quote), which reported a higher quarterly profit that topped
expectations, fell 0.93 percent to C$9.57. The company said it
will feel the first impact of Quebec's drug sales reform
initiatives this quarter. [ID:nSGE706097]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)