CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower as telecoms, gold miners weigh

Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:44pm EST
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 * TSX down 0.35 percent at 11,423.93
 * Shares of BCE, Telus, Rogers drop
 * Gold miners fall with gold prices
 (Adds official closing numbers, analysts' comments, details)
 By John McCrank
 TORONTO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended lower on Friday as a decision by Canada to allow upstart
Globalive to offer wireless service opened up competition in
the telecoms sector and dragged down shares of existing mobile
 Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO, Canada's biggest
wireless firm, was the No. 1 heavyweight loser of the day,
falling 6.95 percent to C$31.05. Rival BCE Inc BCE.TO fell
2.39 percent to C$27.35, and Telus Corp T.TO dropped 2.3
percent to C$32.90.
 Canada surprised investors on Friday by allowing
Egyptian-backed Globalive to offer wireless phone service,
overturning a regulatory ruling and setting the stage for
stepped-up competition in the sector. [ID:nN11139633]
 "I think that the Globalive news has come as a bit of shock
to the telecommunications sector on the whole, but Rogers has
been the worst hit because it's largely dependent on the
wireless business for its revenues," said Elvis Picardo,
analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
 The S&P/TSX composite index.GSPTSE ended down 40.64
points, or 0.35 percent, at 11,423.93. For the week, it ended
down 0.75 percent.
 "We've seen some profit-taking in recent weeks in the
commodities sectors and gold, so that may be one of the reasons
for the sustained weakness on the TSX in the last while," said
 The gold-mining sector was another big drag on the market
on Friday. Barrick Gold ABX.TO dropped 2.76 percent to
C$41.90 and Goldcorp G.TO slid 1.49 percent to C$42.29. The
price of gold [GOL/] hit a four-week low in response to upbeat
U.S. economic data that strengthened the U.S. dollar and
diminished gold's appeal as an inflation hedge.
 "Gold on the week has given up about $66," said John Ing,
president of Maison Placements Canada. He said profit-taking
was likely also to have played into the selloff in gold mining
 "My sense is that both the intermediate and long-term
direction is still up (for gold)," he said.
 Elsewhere, shares of Verenex Energy Inc VNX.TO rose 0.7
percent to C$7.20 after its shareholders overwhelmingly
approved the C$317 million ($299 million) sale of the small
Canadian oil explorer to a Libyan sovereign wealth fund. The
approval ended an international takeover battle that saw Libya
block a richer offer from China for Verenex. [ID:nN11265268]
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)