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

Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:30am EDT
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* 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: Quote) 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: Quote) was down 2.6 percent at C$35.33, and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) 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: Quote) 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.   Continued...