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* TSX down 46.38 points, or 0.42 percent, at 11,058.92
* Barrick shares drop 4.6 pct after equity offering
* Index holds above psychological 11,000 level (Adds details, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index sank on Wednesday, following four sessions of gains driven by robust commodity prices, as investors paused and digested news of a huge equity offering by Barrick Gold (ABX.TO).
Barrick, the world's No 1 gold miner, was the top influential name on the downside after an earlier halt, falling 4.6 percent to C$40.49. The move came after a U.S. securities filing on Wednesday showed it will raise the value of an announced equity offering to $4.03 billion from the previous maximum of $3.45 billion. [ID:nN08295810]
But the retreat was broadly based and other influential names on the downside included Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), down 1.6 percent at C$44.13, Research in Motion RIM.TO, down 0.7 percent at C$85.03, and Goldcorp (G.TO), which slumped 0.6 percent at C$44.02.
The weaker showing comes even as domestic data showed housing starts rose 12.1 percent in August from July, more than forecast, largely from big gains in construction of condos and apartments. [ID:nN09322143]
The pullback also comes after the TSX on Tuesday touched its highest level since early October, ending the session up 48 percent from its five-year low hit in early March.
"The backdrop for the Canadian market looks pretty good in the very the short term. It looks like maybe people are taking some profits on the open," said John Johnston, chief strategist for Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities
Oil prices rose to around $72 a barrel on Wednesday, extending gains logged the previous day, helped by a weaker U.S. dollar. [O/R]
Gold held near $1,000 per ounce on Wednesday, supported by a weak dollar and concern about the sustainability of this year's stunning rally in shares and some key commodities with prices seen ahead of fundamentals. [GOL/]
The energy sector was largely flat, down 0.07 percent, while materials fell 0.5 percent.
At 10:17 a.m., (1417 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 46.38 points, or 0.42 percent, at 11,058.92, after a wobbly start. Eight of its 10 main groups were lower.
$1=$1.08 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson