CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as metals prices pull back

Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:34pm EST
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* TSX closes down 0.4 percent to 13,229.07

* Golds, base metals lead index down (Adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower on Wednesday with heavyweight mining issues pressured by metal prices, which fell as the U.S. dollar rose on a return of euro zone debt concerns.

Gold miners sagged 1.8 percent as bullion retreated for the first time in three days as the greenback's rally hurt commodities priced in U.S. dollars, and tamer inflation data more than offset safe-haven buying of the precious metal. [GOL/]

Among the biggest decliners on the index were Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), down 1.5 percent at C$52.75, and Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote), off 2.7 percent at C$80.79.

Copper prices also fell, knocking base-metal miners down 1.7 percent. Teck Resources TCKb.TO ended 2.3 percent lower at C$56.54.

The U.S. dollar firmed against the euro after Moody's said it may downgrade Spain's debt rating and investors awaited more news on how policymakers will resolve the region's fiscal crisis. [FRX/]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 51.01 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,229.07. Five of the index's 10 main groups were weaker, including energy, down 0.3 percent, financials, off 0.3 percent, and the technology sector, down 0.7 percent.   Continued...