CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls below 12,000 as commodities slide

Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:55pm EDT
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* TSX ends down 92.03 points at 11,947.98

* Energy and materials sectors lead retreat

* TSX risen 2.7 pct so far this month (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended lower for a second straight session on Friday, dropping below the 12,000 mark as weak commodity prices hit heavily weighted petroleum and metal producers.

Natural gas major EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) declined 2.3 percent to C$31.37 while Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote), the country's biggest oil company, retreated 2.7 percent to C$31.28.

The broader energy sector sagged 1.3 percent as U.S. crude futures slid nearly 2 percent on a surging U.S. dollar.

An array of commodities tumbled as renewed worries about Greece's debt problems pushed the greenback higher against the euro on safe-haven buying. Most commodities are priced in U.S. dollars. [O/R] [GOL/]

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) was down 0.5 percent at C$40.14, while base metals miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO fell almost 3 percent to C$40.05.   Continued...