CANADA STOCKS-TSX drifts lower on soft commodities, banks

Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:38am EST
 
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   * TSX down 22.91 points at 13,441.15
 * Eight of 10 main sectors weaker
 (Updates with details, commentary)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Monday morning as losses from softer resource
and financial issues were held in check by firmer gold miners
and technology stocks.
 The materials sector was down 0.1 percent as metal prices
stabilized but were still constrained by a stronger U.S.
dollar. [MET/L]
 Teck Resources TCKb.TO slid 0.6 percent to C$61.84 and
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) dropped 1.4 percent to
C$118.60.
 Fertilizer makers were also down, with Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote)
off 0.3 percent to C$170.10.
 "This is a non-event day. Tomorrow's focus will be on the
(U.S.) earnings front," said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF
Global Canada in Montreal, citing flat commodity prices and
European indexes, with U.S. markets closed for the Martin
Luther King holiday.
 "Expect tiny volumes within a tiny range today ... there is
not any momentum."
 Financials were 0.3 percent weaker, as Toronto-Dominion
Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell 0.4 percent to C$75.87, but Royal Bank of
Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was up 0.1 percent to C$53.94.
 Campeau noted that investors were assessing news that
Ottawa will tighten mortgage rules and reduce support for lines
of credit secured by homes in a bid to prevent the housing
market from overheating and rein in rising household debt
levels. [ID:nN17274705]
 "So far, I don't see any reaction ... it could impact
financials, but it's not clear which way. On one hand, they
might issue a bit less mortgages, on the other hand their
current mortgages might be a bit more stable."
 At 10:14 a.m. (1514 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 22.91 points, or
0.17 percent, at 13,441.15. Eight of the 10 main groups were
lower, including energy shares, down 0.1 percent, as oil prices
declined. [O/R]
 The gold-mining subsector however gained 0.1 percent, with
Barrick Gold Corp 0.7 percent stronger at C$46.90.
 Technology stocks were 0.2 percent better, led by Research
In Motion RIM.TO, which advanced 0.7 percent to C$64.65,
extending last week's gains.
 In individual company news, Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO
sank almost 2 percent to C$1.52 after advising its shareholders
to accept the joint C$590 million bid from ArcelorMittal
(ISPA.AS: Quote) and Nunavut Iron. [ID:nN17276746]
 Ivanhoe Energy IE.TO surged 4.5 percent to C$3.27 after
the heavy oil producer said it discovered natural gas at a
third well at its Zitong exploration block in China's Sichuan
province. [ID:nSGE70G08T]
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)