CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as China rate hike hits commodities

Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:51am EDT
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*TSX falls 60.74 points to 12,607.27

*Six of index's 10 sectors weaker

*Financial group up 0.4 percent (Updates with details, commentary)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell on Tuesday morning as commodity prices weakened on the back of a stronger greenback after China unexpectedly hiked interest rates.

Gold, base-metals and oil prices all tumbled, and the safe-haven U.S. dollar rose, following the announcement, which caught investors off guard. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L]

Among the biggest decliners on the Toronto market were gold-mining shares, down 2.6 percent; base-metal miners, off 2.3 percent; and energy producers, which fell 0.7 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's No. 1 gold producer, fell 3.1 percent to C$47.03, while Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) sank 3.3 percent to C$71.04.

"What really hit the market was China's move," said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.   Continued...