CANADA STOCKS-TSX sags on weaker commodity prices
* TSX down 11.83 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,952.01
* Energy, materials shares lead TSX lower
* Scotiabank falls 1.1 pct despite profit rise (Adds details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, March 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index slipped on Tuesday as a firmer U.S. dollar weighed on oil and gold prices, pushing down heavily weighted resource shares.
The materials sector, home to mining and fertilizer shares, dropped 0.1 percent as gold and base metal prices sagged on broad risk aversion. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 0.3 percent to C$40.70, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO dropped 0.8 percent to C$41.23. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) dropped 1.6 percent to C$31.51 as oil prices fell to around $81.50 a barrel. [O/R]
At 1:02 p.m. (1802 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 11.83 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,952.01. The index briefly popped into positive territory at midday as oil and gold prices steadied, recovering some early losses in the heavyweight resource sectors. [O/R] [GOL/]
Anxiety about the economic outlook has crept back into the market and is resulting in lackluster trade, market watchers say.
"There's no catalyst pushing the market either way today," said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"People are looking more at one-off value places rather than deploying money aggressively in one sector over another," he added.
Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO said its profit rose in its first quarter, beating analysts' expectations, as domestic banking earnings surged and loan losses were lower than anticipated [ID:N08126522]. Shares of Canada's third-largest lender fell 1.1 percent to C$49.53, however.
"Earnings from Scotia were better than expected, but I think the market went ahead of itself and all the good news was already priced in. Now that earnings are out of the way, you're seeing some small profit-taking," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)
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