CANADA STOCKS-TSX hit by weaker commodities, Alcoa results

Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:15pm EDT
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* TSX falls 0.39 percent to 12,101.52

* Materials lead the fall on weak gold, base metal prices

* Focus on corporate earnings (Updates to close)

TORONTO, April 13 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower for a second straight day on Tuesday as materials and energy shares were hit hard by slipping commodity prices and a soft earnings report from U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa (AA.N: Quote).

The Alcoa report raised fears of a sluggish economic recovery and commodity prices weakened. Canadian economic figures on Tuesday, however, reinforced the view that growth is accelerating in this country. Trade data for February was stronger than expected and new-home prices rose in the same month. [ID:nN13241358]

Nine of the index's 10 main groups were lower, led by a 1.16 percent fall in the materials sector as gold and base metals prices eased. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's biggest producer, fell 1.2 percent to C$40.41, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO slipped 1.1 percent to C$44.94. [GOL/] [MET/L]

"The materials sector in particular is fairly negative due to Alcoa's earnings yesterday," said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver.

"Alcoa is a great signal and a great gauge on the economic recovery."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 47.14 points, or 0.39 percent, at 12,101.52, clawing back from a more than 1 percent loss earlier in the day.   Continued...