* TSX falls 0.44 percent to 13,401.48
* Golds chief decliner, outweighs six advancing sectors
(Updates to close)
The materials group, down 2.09 percent and home to gold miners, was the chief sector pulling down the overall index.
The fall in gold miners offset strength from base metal miners that rallied on news of another multibillion dollar merger in the sector.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 58.73 points, or 0.44 percent, to finish at 13,401.48. Six of the index’s 10 main groups were higher, but were no match for the heavy losses in the materials sector.
Five gold miners were among the top 10 blue-chip heavyweight decliners. The gold subindex tumbled 2.9 percent.
Barrick lost 4.93 percent to close at C$46.88, while Goldcorp fell 3.44 percent to C$41.56. Kinross Gold (K.TO) declined 2.96 percent to C$17.05, Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO) shed 2.4 percent to C$69.87 and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) dropped 2.96 percent to C$11.82.
“The major (decliners) are the golds and the materials stocks. I think the materials stocks are partly paying the price for yesterday when they were up so strongly,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
“The economic news today was not great. That was another strike against the sector ... that tends to be a pretty good proxy for sentiment towards global growth.”
Safe-haven buying of gold subsided after earlier successful European bond sales and a more positive economic outlook from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. [GOL/]
However, data on Thursday also showed weekly initial jobless claims in the United States jumped to their highest level since October last week while food and energy costs lifted producer prices in December, pointing to headwinds for an economy that has shown fresh vigor. [ID:nN13271305]
$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson