CANADA STOCKS-Energy shares lead TSX retreat from 12,000

Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:02pm EST
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* Index rises as high as 12,070 and then retreats

* S&P/TSX composite down 0.12 percent at 11,939.99

* Energy shares lead TSX lower

* Gold-mining shares among index gainers (Recasts, updates prices, adds quotes, details)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index turned negative on Monday after climbing above 12,000 in early trade for the first time since September 2008, with a reversal in energy shares dragging the market lower.

Oil and gas stocks surged at the open but then retreated rapidly with EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), down 1.7 percent at C$35.37, and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote), down 0.78 percent at C$38.39, among the top decliners. The fall came even though oil prices were up 1 percent, hitting a 15-month high near $84 a barrel [O/R], after China reported a surge in crude imports [COM/WRAP].

"I think Wall Street has been a drag. U.S. markets turned lower and commodity markets have also unwound earlier gains so the Canadian market has been unable to build on the strong open," said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.

"For energy, crude oil made a fresh trend high earlier on just short of $85 a barrel but has since unwound those gains so I think it's consolidating its recent advance."   Continued...