CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as U.S. jobs growth stalls, golds gain

Fri Sep 2, 2011 5:08pm EDT
 
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 * TSX ends down 98.33 points, or 0.77 pct, at 12,602.41
 * Index ends week 2.2 percent higher
 * Eight of 10 sectors weaker, materials rise on gold
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended lower on Friday after grim U.S. jobs numbers revived
recession fears, but rallying gold miners helped cushion the
fall.
 Oil and gas shares were among the hardest hit as riskier
assets were sold off after data unexpectedly showed U.S.
employment growth ground to a halt in August. [ID:nOAT004865]
 U.S. crude futures dropped more than $2 a barrel following
the report, sending Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) down 3.2 percent to
C$30 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) down 3.7 percent
to C$34.93.
 "From a technical analysis perspective it looks like (oil)
is headed lower, in part reflecting the greater uncertainty of
economic growth," said Robert McWhirter, president and
portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management Inc.
 "We're still of the view that economic growth will be slow,
but will accelerate in the second half of this year ... however
there are a lot of people who are having greater concern about
the increased risk of recession," he added.
 Offsetting the decline, gold miners climbed 3 percent to
the top of the gainers list, tracking higher bullion prices,
which neared $1,900 an ounce on safe-haven buying. [GOL/]
 Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) jumped 3.1 percent to C$51.97,
Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) advanced 3.1 percent to C$53.76, and Yamana
Gold (YRI.TO: Quote) surged 5.5 percent to C$16.58.
 "Near term, you don't want to be underweight gold," said
Marcus Xu, director of equity investments at Genus Capital
Management in Vancouver.
 "If you actually look at the changes in gold prices versus
changes in gold stocks over the last three months, there's a
lot of value in gold stocks versus the underlying commodity,"
he added, pointing to small and mid-cap names that could be
takeover targets.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed 98.33 points, or 0.77 percent, lower at
12,602.41. The index ended the week 2.2 percent higher.
 The TSX pared earlier losses of more than 1 percent as the
materials group - home to gold miners - gained 1.5 percent.
Telecoms also rose 0.25 percent, while the rest of the index's
10 sectors were weaker, including financials, off 1.3 percent.
 Laurentian Bank (LB.TO: Quote) lost 0.9 percent to C$43.20 despite
reporting a 17 percent increase in net income as loan losses
fell, beating analysts' earnings expectations. [ID:nN1E7810G9]
 "Even with all these good earnings on all these banks, you
can see the bank shares haven't done much ... it's such a tough
environment for banks right now given that the yields are so
low," Xu said.
 "And typically in this part of the business cycle ... banks
don't usually outperform, they usually underperform. They're
usually late-cycle boomers."
 In technology issues, Research In Motion RIM.TO plunged
4.6 percent to C$29.59 after big box retailer Best Buy slashed
up to $150 off the U.S. price tag for RIM's PlayBook tablet
computer for the Labor Day weekend. [ID:nN1E78021B]
 WiLan Inc (WIN.TO: Quote) edged up 0.4 percent to C$7.09 after the
technology licensing company said it had begun its patent
infringement cases against Apple Inc, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and
six other companies. [ID:nL4E7K21GT]
 In other individual company news, Silvercorp Metals
(SVM.TO: Quote) sank nearly 10 percent to C$7.43. China-focused miner
Silvercorp denied anonymous allegations of fraud on Friday, but
its stock swooned on fears that charges like those that sank
Sino-Forest TRE.TO were claiming another victim.
[ID:nN1E7810DH]
 North American markets will be closed on Monday for the
Labor Day holiday. Some highlights next week are U.S.
non-manufacturing ISM data on Tuesday, the Bank of Canada
interest rate announcement on Wednesday and Canadian monthly
employment figures on Friday. ECONCA
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)