CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips despite rally in gold miners

Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:27pm EDT
 
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   * TSX ends down 11.84 points, or 0.1 pct, at 13,821.80
 * Seven of 10 main sectors lower, led by energy
 * Golds offset broad-based weakness
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended slightly lower on Thursday as weaker energy and
base-metal shares offset a rally in precious metal miners that
was spurred by safe-haven buying of gold.
 Seven of the TSX index's 10 main groups were lower, with
the energy sector leading the decline even though oil prices
reversed early losses. [O/R]
 The oil and gas group was down 0.7 percent with Canadian
Natural Resources CNQ.TO sliding 2.3 percent to C$42.55, and
Talisman Energy TLM.TO falling 0.8 percent to C$22.18. Some
oil companies bucked the trend, with Canadian Oil Sands Trust
COS.TO up 1.3 percent at C$31.53.
 "Maybe people feel that something is going to work out in
Libya ... but I think this Middle East thing is going to be
with us for a long time, unfortunately," said John Kinsey,
portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities, pointing to supply
worries as one of the main reasons for oil's rise.
 "I think oil prices are going to be high for some period of
time," he added, noting that U.S. crude was still holding close
to $109 a barrel.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended 11.84 points, or 0.09 percent, lower at
13,821.80. Heavyweight financials were off 0.1 percent.
 The index's materials group gained 0.6 percent on the back
of the rise in gold-mining shares as bullion prices came within
spitting distance of record highs.
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO jumped 2.2 percent to C$51.26 and
Goldcorp G.TO climbed 2.4 percent to C$51.86.
 Gold rose more than 1 percent and silver surged as a
combination of U.S. dollar weakness, worries over Chinese
inflation and renewed Greek sovereign debt fears lifted bullion
to $5 below its record high of $1,476.21. [GOL/]
[ID:nN14164161]
 "The obvious feature is the golds," Kinsey said. "It's nice
to see the gold stocks are all up because they've been real
laggards."
 Base-metal miners on the other hand slipped 1.3 percent as
copper ended lower for a fourth consecutive day as rising
inflation pressures in China continued to muddy demand
prospects. [MET/L]
 Teck Resources TCKb.TO dropped 1.5 percent to C$50.14.
 Also weighing on market sentiment, U.S. President Barack
Obama proposed spending cuts and higher taxes on the rich on
Wednesday to slash the U.S. budget deficit by $4 trillion over
12 years. [ID:nN12216395]
 "Obama's speech highlights how problematic their debt
problem has become and that's coming to the fore in the market,
and that's why the (U.S.) dollar is down and the precious
metals are up," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements
Canada.
 As well, confidence was hurt by a Statistics Canada report
that said that manufacturing sales in February had their
biggest drop since August 2009 as auto sales pulled back after
a January surge and a strong Canadian dollar continued to hurt
exporters. [ID:nN14146333]
 ($1=$0.96 Canadian)
 (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter
Galloway)