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: Quote),
down 1.6 percent at C$51.89, and Teck Resources (TCKb.TO: Quote),
which fell 1.5 percent to C$55.72. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) 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
said.
 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
cautious.
 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: Quote), 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)