CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower as commodity prices fall

Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:37am EST
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 *TSX down 59.49 points, or 0.45 percent, at 13,169.58
 *Six of 10 key groups lower, materials fall hardest
 *Spot gold price drops below $1,370 an ounce
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
dragged lower by weaker commodity prices on Thursday, with gold
falling through a key technical level, as mixed U.S. data kept
investors cautious about economic recovery.
 Key movers on the downside included Barrick Gold ABX.TO,
down 1.6 percent at C$51.89, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO,
which fell 1.5 percent to C$55.72. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO dropped 0.5 percent to
C$42.30 as oil fell toward $88 a barrel, pressured by the U.S.
economic data and lingering concerns about the debt crisis in
the eurozone. [O/R]
 Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal,
pinned some of the market drop on spot gold prices, which fell
through the 50-day moving average, a key technical level of
around $1,370.
 "The 50-day moving day average has been providing good
support over the last six months. A movement below that line
might trigger some technical funds to reduce positions," he
 Gold retreated after data that showed U.S. jobless claims
fell for a second week took the wind out of the metal's
safe-haven sails, but concern over euro zone debt levels
limited losses. [GOL/]
 But while the jobless data suggested growth in the U.S.
labor market, data on home construction showed the sector
remained distressed.  [ID: nN16191367]
 Campeau said the mixed data was keeping investors
 At 10:02 a.m. (1502 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 59.49 points, or
0.45 percent, at 13,169.58. Six of the index's 10 main groups
were lower.
 George Weston Ltd WN.TO, the top net gainer, rose 4.8
percent to C$83.17. The food processor and distributor said on
Wednesday it will pay a special one-time dividend of C$1
billion. [ID:nSGE6BE0CU]
 Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO was the most heavily traded
stock on the market, rising 0.8 percent to C$1.25. Nunavut
Iron, backed by private equity, raised its hostile takeover bid
for Baffinland by 69 percent, topping an offer from the world's
No. 1 steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, as the two companies compete
for an iron ore deposit that is said to be big enough to supply
all of Europe. [ID:nN16206372]
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)