CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as resources retreat

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:19pm EST
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   * TSX down 15.78 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,280.08
 * Five of the 10 main sectors finish lower
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished lower on Tuesday as heavily weighted resource and
financial issues retreated, partly pressured by a cautious
economic outlook from the Federal Reserve.
 The materials group, home to mining firms, ended down 0.21
percent and led five of the index's 10 main sectors lower.
 Fertilizer producer, Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) was down 1.71
percent at C$81.52, while Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) was off 0.44
percent at 138.00.
 Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) did not follow modestly stronger
bullion prices and fell 1.45 percent to C$53.53. [GOL/]
 "There's a lot of seasonality kicking in ... a lot of the
big institutions have pretty well shut down their books for
2010. A number of people just started their Christmas holidays,
so the market is becoming extraordinarily thin," said Irwin
Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
 "It doesn't take very much -- a stray order can move a
stock either way on the buy side or the sell side to a
significant degree."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 15.78 points, or 0.12 percent, at
13,280.08. The market was in positive territory most of the
day, but the Federal Reserve's cautious comments about a slow
economic recovery sparked a late-session selloff.
 The economy-linked financial issues ended the day down 0.15
percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was the most influential
decliner among the banks and gave back 0.91 percent to finish
at C$52.34.
 Energy stocks slid 0.18 percent, pulled lower by Encana
Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), which fell 1.73 percent to C$28.38. Offsetting
losses was a 1.31 percent gain by Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote), which
closed at C$38.72.
 Crude oil prices were lower on Tuesday pressured by the
Fed's comments, but losses were limited by cold weather, which
boosted heating fuel demand. [O/R]
 Other decliners were consumer discretionary issues, which
fell 0.37 percent, and telecoms, which slipped 0.08 percent.
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)