CANADA STOCKS-TSX breaks 4-day rise on currency swings

Fri Oct 9, 2009 4:52pm EDT
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 * TSX drops 0.41 pct to 11,436.92, ends week up 4.4 pct
 * Gold miners slide on lower bullion price
 * Big gain in Canadian jobs spurs C$ rise, rate hike talk
 * Muted action ahead of holiday weekend
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Currency swings played a big
role on Friday in knocking Toronto's main stock index to its
first lower close this week.
 The Canadian dollar, pushed higher by a
stronger-than-expected jobs report, created discomfort for
exporters, while a surge by the U.S. dollar put resource issues
under pressure.
 Heavyweight miners such as Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote)
dropped 0.96 percent to C$41.25, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) slid
0.78 percent to C$44.25 as the price of gold backed away from
record highs hit earlier this week.
 Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) led all notable decliners, shedding
3.6 percent to C$94.44, after Dahlman Rose & Co initiated
coverage of the fertilizer company with a "sell" rating. It
gave rival Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) a "buy" rating, but the stock moved
with most of the materials group lower, falling 2.8 percent at
C$53.93. [ID:nBNG467431]
 "A lot of today's action is driven by currencies," said
Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in
Vancouver. "There is increasingly speculation that we may see
rate hikes sooner rather than later in Canada."
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 47.59
points, or 0.41 percent, at 11,436.92, ending the week up 4.4
 U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said at a
conference on Thursday he was thinking of an exit strategy from
quantitative easing and low interest rates as the U.S. economy
improves. [ID:nN08537898]
 That sparked a broad rally in the U.S. dollar against major
many currencies, but not against the Canadian dollar, which
shot to a one-year high because of the employment report. The
Canadian currency and recent data was seen testing the Bank of
Canada's resolve to hold rates unchanged through mid-2010.
[ID:nN095317] [ID:nN0965028]
 After four straight triple-digit gains for the TSX, the
market may have been ripe for a retreat, particularly ahead of
a holiday weekend in Canada.
 The TSX will be closed on Monday for Thanksgiving.
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng)