CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as gold price drop hits materials

Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:46am EDT
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* TSX index down 0.32 percent at 8,359.72

* Materials drop as bullion price retreats (Adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower on Tuesday morning as its resource-heavy materials sector retreated on a drop in bullion prices.

The materials group slid 2.7 percent with miner Goldcorp G.TO down 3 percent at C$36.02. Energy issues were down 0.24 percent with Suncor Energy SU.TO dropping 1.6 percent to C$31.89.

The main index was briefly higher at the open, but then followed stock markets around the world lower as a five-day winning streak ran out of steam. Moves by the Bank of Japan to shore up its banking system helped to limit losses. [MKTS/GLOB]

"There's so many cross currents out there," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities. "People are still very frustrated and can't figure out what's happening."

At 10:15 a.m. (1415 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 26.99 points, or 0.32 percent, at 8,359.72, with four of its 10 main groups lower.

($1=$1.27 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway)