March 18, 2009 / 2:33 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls, undercut by weaker gold, oil

2 Min Read

* TSX down 1.65 percent at 8,418.77

* Energy sector falls 3 pct as oil retreats

* Markets await U.S. Fed decision, statement (Adds details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell sharply on Wednesday morning as resource shares were hit by weaker oil and gold prices and as investors took profits after six sessions of gains.

Oil and gas stocks fell 3 percent as oil pulled back to around $48 a barrel after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed large builds in U.S. crude stocks. [ID:nSYD321728] More inventory data is due on Wednesday. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) dropped 4.9 percent to C$31.61.

The index's materials group, home to miners and fertilizer producers, dropped 2.6 percent as gold and base metals prices eased. Goldcorp (G.TO) was down 2.6 percent at C$35.33, and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) dropped 3.5 percent to C$95.55.

Financials, which have gained for the past six sessions, fell 1.5 percent with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) down 2.3 percent at C$42.53.

"Nothing goes up forever and there were indications that the market is running into technical resistance levels. It is not a surprise for the market to take a pause," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

At 10:04 a.m. (1404 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 140.83 points, or 1.65 percent, at 8,418.77, with eight of its 10 main groups lower.

Consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks gained 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Stocks on the upside included Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO, which climbed 0.7 percent to C$44.49.

Later in the day, market focus will be on the U.S. Federal Reserve when it is due to announce a rate decision and outline its views on the U.S. economy and monetary policy in a statement at the end of a two-day meeting. [ID:nN18342185]

$1=$1.26 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway

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