CANADA STOCKS-Jitters take TSX down for 7th day to January low
* TSX ends down 99.13 points at 13,183.79
* Touches weakest level since Jan. 10
* Closes below 200-day moving average
* All 10 sectors weaker (Adds details, technical commentary)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, June 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index marked its seventh straight loss on Wednesday, falling to its lowest level since early January as fears over the global economy intensified and metal prices weakened.
The index's materials group dropped 1.9 percent as copper and gold prices eased after a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday depressed market sentiment. [GOL/] [MET/L] While Bernanke gave a bleak assessment of the U.S. economy, he offered no hints of further U.S. monetary easing.
Mining shares had some of the biggest drops on the index with Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) sinking 2 percent to C$43.36, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) shedding 1.7 percent to C$46.02, and Teck Resources (TCKb.TO: Quote) falling 1.3 percent to C$46.63.
"The only good thing probably is that the volume is down and we are sort of starting the summer doldrums, but we'll see how that plays out. Right now it's discouraging," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
"Like the golds for example, the price of the commodity is near its all-time high ... and yet all the stocks are just getting whacked here today ... and to a certain extent, the energy stocks have followed that pattern as well," he added, noting oil was back over $100 a barrel on Wednesday.
The energy sector dipped 0.4 percent even though oil prices rose after OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna failed to agree on a supply increase, though some oil and gas companies clung to gains. [O/R]
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained 1.2 percent to C$40.25 and Talisman Energy TLM.TO edged up 0.4 percent to C$19.55.
Bernanke's speech was the latest discouraging signal in a steady stream of bad news that has included fresh worries about European sovereign debt and the Arab Spring as well as concerns about cooling Chinese growth, Kinsey said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 99.13 points, or 0.75 percent, at 13,183.79. All 10 main sectors were lower, including financials, off 0.1 percent. Earlier, the index fell as low as 13,161.36, its weakest level since Jan. 10. The TSX is down almost 2 percent for the year.
"It's kind of grinding everybody a bit here, sort of like Chinese water torture, every day it's just drip, drip, drip," Kinsey said.
The index closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since last August -- a bearish signal for many investors.
Ron Meisels, technical analyst and president of Phases & Cycles in Montreal, said, however that it's too soon to call a downtrend for the TSX, noting the closely watched moving average is still higher than it was roughly 200 days ago.
"The message is give it another chance, give it leeway, don't panic when the market goes just below it," he said.
"It's a place where a lot of people will panic and they get panicked out of good stocks ... our attitude right now is that the TSX is actually tremendously oversold."
Shares of Sino-Forest TRE.TO, which owns tree plantations in China, jumped 23 percent to C$4.92, lifted by speculative buying and short-covering in the wake of a short-seller's report that crushed the company's stock last week. [ID:nN08210464]/
A heavy decliner was Research In Motion RIM.TO, which fell 2.7 percent to C$35.93 after analyst downgrades. [ID:nL3E7H81MN]
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)
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