*TSX down 8.73 points at 12,033.53
*Six 10 index sectors lower; gold shares down (Updates to close, adds quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly lower on Thursday, pressured by weak bullion prices as investors unwound safe-haven trades after the release of favorable U.S. economic data.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week to a two-month low, while the trade deficit narrowed sharply in July, hopeful signs for the stuttering economic recovery. [ID:nN09174403]
The U.S. data robbed gold of some of its safe-haven luster, helping to push down the resource-laden index's hefty materials sector by 1.7 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) slid 3.2 percent to C$45.69, and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) dropped 2 percent to C$42.79 as gold prices swooned further in late trading on Thursday as some investors shunned safe-haven trades and set off automatic sell orders on the way down. [GOL/]
"We're seeing some profit-taking across the board, but mostly in the gold sector. Gold stocks were under pressure and today we triggered some more selling," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal
"We've had a good run. The technicals are not great."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the session lower by 8.73 points at 12,033.53, the TSX's third straight session lower.
Six of its 10 groups were lower.
The data helped boost the TSX's energy and financials issues, up 0.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan