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 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...