CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower as financial shares weigh

Wed Dec 9, 2009 11:54am EST
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 * TSX down 0.24 percent at 11,341.33
 * Bank shares down, commodities rise
 * Laurentian Bank reports higher profit, shares up
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Irene Kuan
 TORONTO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
lower on Wednesday as shares of Royal Bank of Canada and other
banks dropped on yearend profit-taking, more than offsetting
the boost the index got from stronger commodity prices.
 Shares of the country's No. 1 bank, Royal Bank of Canada
(RY.TO: Quote), fell 1.61 percent to C$54.34, while Toronto-Dominion
Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was down 1.68 percent at C$64.84.
 Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), which reported earnings on
Tuesday that analysts felt did not build on strong results from
rival banks last week, was down 1.39 percent at C$46.95.
 "There's some profit-taking in the financial sector because
it's acted well the past few days," said Bruce Latimer, trader
at Dundee Securities.
 "I don't think investors want to risk any of the gains
they've made this year, and if anything, they may be trimming
some positions to get ready for next year."
 Shares of regional lender Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.TO: Quote)
were up 0.74 percent to C$42.41, however, after it reported a
higher quarterly profit and increased its dividend, making it
the first Canadian bank to raise its payout since the financial
crisis hit. [ID:nN08197421]
 At 11:30 a.m. (1630 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was down 27.60 points, or 0.24 percent, at
 Commodity prices rallied on Wednesday after several days of
losses as the U.S. dollar weakened. Oil rose more than $1
toward $74 a barrel, while gold was up nearly 1 percent,
recovering from three-week lows it hit in the previous
session. [O/R][GOL/]
 Shares of world No. 1 gold miner Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) were
up 0.95 percent at C$43.51, while rival Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) rose
1.68 percent to C$42.93.
 Natural gas producer EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), which said on
Wednesday it would renew its stock buyback program, saw its
shares rise 0.74 percent to C$29.77. [ID:nN09155500]
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Irene Kuan; editing by Peter Galloway)