CANADA STOCKS-Greece fears knock TSX to Nov low, RIM sinks

Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:30pm EDT
 
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 * Ends down 118.90 points, or 0.9 pct, at 12,853.13
 * Weakest close since Nov. 23
 * Nine of the 10 main groups lower
 * Greek debt crisis, mixed U.S. data drag on sentiment
 * RIM plunges 15 pct after hours after results miss
 (Adds details, quotes, RIM earnings)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, June 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
marked its lowest close since November on Thursday as Greek
default fears escalated, while after the bell Research In
Motion  RIM.TO plunged on disappointing earnings.
 RIM's quarterly profit dropped and its revenue missed its
already-lowered forecast, forcing the BlackBerry maker to slash
its outlook and sending its shares down 15 percent to below $30
in after-hours trading. [ID:nN16217792]
 Meanwhile, fears that Greece's debt and political turmoil
could explode into another global financial crisis continued to
undermine equity and commodity markets, spurring investors to
flock to the safety of bonds and currencies such as the U.S.
dollar.
 "There's persistent anxiety about Greece and the potential
for credit contagion and that's overhanging the market," said
Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.
 The TSX's materials group, home to miners, was the hardest
hit. The group sank 2.8 percent, tracking lower with copper
prices, which fell on a stronger U.S. dollar, fears of weak
U.S. economic growth, and worries about the euro zone debt
crisis. [MET/L]
 The base-metals subsector skidded 3.4 percent, as Teck
Resources TCKb.TO dropped 3.6 percent to C$43.75 and First
Quantum Minerals FM.TO retreated nearly 5 percent to
C$115.37.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 118.90 points, or 0.92 percent, at
12,853.13. It was its weakest closing level since Nov. 23.
 Nine of the 10 main groups were down, including powerhouse
energy shares, off 0.8 percent. Consumer discretionary stocks
were up 0.1 percent.
 Smith said markets were watching a key level for the
Standard & Poor's 500 index at its March low of 1,249. A breach
below that mark could spill over into the Canadian market. The
S&P 500 .SPX closed 2.22 points, or 0.18 percent, higher at
1,267.64 on Thursday.
 On the TSX, Smith said he was eyeing support at 12,698,
which marks a 50 percent retracement of the July to March
rally.
 Potash Corp POT.TO was the most influential decliner,
falling 3.4 percent to C$50.99 as the fertilizer producer was
hit by sharply lower corn prices and concerns about waning
demand. [ID:nN16531556]
 Gold miners were also sharply lower even as bullion prices
steadied. Goldcorp Inc G.TO was down 2.9 percent to C$45.42,
while Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO lost 1.8 percent at C$42.27.
 International lenders dangled a lifeline to save Greece
from defaulting next month as Prime Minister George Papandreou
faced down rebels in his socialist party against
EU/IMF-ordained austerity measures. [ID:nLDE75F0TU]
 "What has to happen for the Greek situation to work is the
people of Greece have to accept tough times and they don't seem
to be willing to accept it," said Douglas Davis, chief
executive at Davis-Rea. "If they pitch out the current
government, Greece is really in trouble."
 Mixed U.S. economic data added to the gloomy mood. A gauge
of regional manufacturing activity slumped to a near two-year
low in June, suggesting U.S. factories were faltering and
overshadowing better than expected readings on the labor and
housing markets. [ID:nN16172420]
 Smith noted that speculation over interest rate hikes in
China was also dragging on sentiment.
 A bright spot on the index was Air Canada ACa.TO, which
surged almost 8 percent to C$2.17 after the country's biggest
airline reached a deal with striking workers. [ID:nN16130486]
($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)