CANADA STOCKS-TSX dives on Japan radiation fears

Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:37am EDT
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 *TSX down 291.14 points, or 2.1 pct, at 13,328.05
 *All 10 sectors down sharply
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, March 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
tumbled to a seven-week low on Tuesday morning as Japan faced a
potential catastrophe after an earthquake-crippled nuclear
power plant exploded and sent low levels of radiation floating
towards Tokyo.
 Fears of a radiation disaster hammered world stock markets
and fueled a broad sell-off in commodities such as oil,
base-metals and even safe-haven gold as investors raced to
liquid assets like cash. [MKTS/GLOB]
 All 10 of the Toronto index's sectors dropped sharply. The
energy group was down 2.6 percent, materials was off 2.8
percent, and financials dropped 2 percent.
 Among the individual heavyweight decliners, Cameco Corp
CCO.TO, the world's second largest uranium miner, sank almost
8 percent to C$29.19.
 Suncor Energy SU.TO declined 2.4 percent to C$41.11,
Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO fell 2.3 percent to C$48.51, First
Quantum Minerals FM.TO dropped 3 percent to C$107.85, and
Bank of Nova Scotia was down 1.9 percent at C$57.23.
 "We've broken below technical levels across markets
globally here, so the risk is to the downside," said Fergal
Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.
 The Toronto index has closed below the 50-day moving
average around 13,700 for the past two days, paving the way for
a retest of the January and December lows around 13,100, Smith
 At 10:16 a.m. (1416 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 291.14 points, or
2.14 percent, at 13,328.05. Earlier, it fell as low as
13,237.93, its lowest level since Jan. 25.
 "Investors are stepping back for the moment during this
bout of uncertainty," Smith said, noting the U.S. Federal Open
Market Committee meeting later in the day could provide some
 "More broadly, economic growth has remained supportive of
the market, but while there's risk of a Japanese nuclear
meltdown, investors are going to try and be risk averse until
that uncertainty is clarified."
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)