CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower for fifth straight session

Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:17pm EST
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   * TSX cuts losses to finish down 0.2 percent at 13,245.12
 * Most sectors end lower
 * Gold miners among the few blue-chip advancers
 * Canadian Natural eyes some output after fire, stock up
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished lower on Monday but managed to cut its losses toward
the end of the session as resource shares regained ground and
gold-mining issues rose.
 A flare-up of concern over the euro zone debt crisis cast a
pall over equities and other risky assets on Monday and that
kept the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE on a downward path that is now five sessions long.
 "We did think the market was a little frothy last year so
we're not surprised to see a bit of a pullback here," said
Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
 "People managed to keep the rally going to the end of the
year but now I would think they are taking some profits off the
table. Our view all along has been that the market has been
ahead of the underlying economic fundamentals."
 A Bank of Canada survey showed that companies were
optimistic about the next 12 months, but many expect only
modest growth, in part due to strong competition and moderate
demand. Separately, a senior central bank official said low
inflation and weak growth mean interest rates must remain low
for now, while households must be wary of taking on too much
debt. [ID:nN10280617]
 The TSX index finished down 27.18 points, or 0.2 percent,
at 13,245.12. Nine of its 10 main groups were lower, led by
weakness in financials. The utilities group was flat.
 Key decliners included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), down
0.63 percent at C$51.69, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote),
down 0.67 percent at C$73.70.
 Fears that Portugal would be forced into a bailout pulled
the index down 1 percent earlier in the session, its lowest
level in three weeks. A firm price for gold was a factor in the
recovery as gold-mining issues were among the few blue chips
that eked out gains.
 Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) pushed up 2.18 percent to C$71.32,
while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) added 0.38 percent to C$42.66, helping
the index's materials group to limit its decline to 0.05
 But diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO fell 2.34
percent to C$60.50 as the price of copper slipped for a fifth
straight session, weighed down by news that China's copper
imports fell 2 percent in December.
 The energy group recouped nearly all its losses as well,
down 0.07 percent, partly on the rebound in Canadian Natural
Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) shares. The stock was one of the 10 most
 Canadian Natural recovered some of last week's decline
after it said it could resume limited production at its Horizon
oil sands plant in northern Alberta after determining that key
parts of its upgrader may still be able to function following a
fire last week. [ID:nN10269797]
 The stock, which fell 5.5 percent on Friday following the
fire, rose 2.46 percent to C$41.60.
 Although it has been a negative start for Toronto's main
index, a cautious but positive outlook on earnings could be the
next catalyst.
 Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities
in Vancouver, said the first quarter's company guidance may set
the tone and offer a glimpse of the year ahead.
 "Investors are now waiting to see what earnings reports are
going to start telling us. Expectations have been ratcheted
higher," he said.
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway and Rob