CANADA STOCKS-TSX dragged by gold retreat from record high
* TSX falls 0.45 percent to finish at 12,445.93
* Golds fall as the precious metal slips 2 pct
* Next up: Friday's labor market data for Canada, U.S. (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower on Thursday, though well off session lows, as gold miners retreated along with bullion prices and helped hold back the broader market.
While six of the index's 10 main sectors finished higher, the four declining groups included the three biggest sectors -- materials, energy and financials -- which make up about three-quarters of the index's weighting.
The materials group, home to gold miners, was the chief drag, falling 1.6 percent, as bullion retreated 2 percent from record highs. Upbeat news on U.S. jobless benefits shored up the U.S. dollar and prompted gold longs to secure profits before Friday's U.S. employment report for September. [GOL/]
Investors locked in profits after a sharp runup by the TSX to a two-year high earlier this week. That was largely linked to an expected inflow of fresh stimulus into the U.S. economy, which dragged down U.S. dollar and spurred money flows into gold, oil and other commodities.
Key decliners included Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote), down 2.68 percent to C$19.23, while Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) lost 3.17 percent to C$72.62. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) dropped 2.9 percent to C$44.41.
"Gold stocks, which have been super strong the last few sessions, are just taking a breather," said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE shed 55.79 points, or 0.45 percent, to finish at 12,445.93 as investors geared up for release of the U.S. and Canadian jobs reports for September on Friday. The reports are likely to be the main drivers as each will suggest how the economic recovery is moving along.
"The market has really set itself up for a pretty bullish number. So anything that hints of ongoing weakness may rattle the markets to some extent," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The median forecast from analysts polled by Reuters is for U.S. nonfarm payrolls, due Friday morning, to be unchanged in September, after employers shed 54,000 jobs in August. ECONUS
Canada is expected to have added 15,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate is seen steady at 8.1 percent. [ID:nN01252720] (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)
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