CANADA STOCKS-TSX sags as commodities hit by China moves

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:31pm EST
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* S&P/TSX composite down 0.66 percent at 11,867.90.

* Producers hurt by commodity price drop after China news

* Fertilizer companies hit by record U.S. corn production (Updates prices, adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower at midday on Tuesday as commodity prices dropped after China took its strongest step yet towards tightening monetary policy.

China rocked global financial markets with a surprise increase in banks' required reserves, a move that hit gold and platinum prices and knocked the euro lower versus the dollar. [MKTS/GLOB]

"China's decision to change some of the banking structure with bigger deposits certainly had an effect in terms in trying to cool some of the demand," said Brian Pow, vice president, research, and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.

"We're a natural resources country so I think you're going to see people trying to figure out whether that will cool off some of the demand for the mining side."

At 11:42 a.m. (1642 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 79.23 points, or 0.66 percent, at 11,867.90.   Continued...