CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits one-week low on euro zone debt fears

Tue Sep 6, 2011 5:37pm EDT
 
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 * TSX down 83.87 points, or 0.67 percent, at 12,518.54
 * Eight of 10 sectors weaker; energy, banks drag
 * Gold miners partly offset losses
 (Adds further details)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index fell to a one-week low on Tuesday, tracking U.S. and
world stocks, as concern mounted that the euro zone's worsening
debt crisis will hurt the global economy.
 Nervous investors channeled cash into less risky assets as
doubts resurfaced over the political will of Italy and Greece
to push through tough budget and debt measures demanded by
other euro zone members, while Germany hardened its stand
against giving them more aid. [ID:nL5E7K61RE]
 The broad sell-off followed a 4 percent slide in European
equities on Monday, when North American markets were closed for
the Labor Day holiday.
 "All eyes are on Europe," said Elvis Picardo, strategist
and vice president of research at Global Securities in
Vancouver. "Investors are getting seriously concerned about the
possibility of not just a U.S. recession but a global
recession."
 Friday's U.S. jobs report, which showed zero jobs growth,
also continued to hurt investor confidence even after data on
Tuesday showed U.S. services sector growth picked up in August.
[.N]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended the session down 83.87 points, or 0.67 percent,
at 12,518.54. Earlier it fell to 12,355.92, its weakest point
since Aug. 29.
 Eight of the 10 main groups were lower. Energy and bank
shares weighed most heavily, down 1.8 percent and 1.2 percent
respectively.
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was the top decliner, falling 2.4
percent to C$29.28. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) lost 1.5
percent to C$48.22, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) was down
1.7 percent at C$52.23.
 Gold miners helped to offset losses as they added 1.5
percent and helped lift the broader materials sector into
positive territory.
 The price of the safe-haven metal jumped to a record high
above $1,920 after Switzerland pegged its currency to the euro
in an effort to curb franc strength. Gold then retreated 2
percent from that level as investors took profits. [GOL/]
 "The Swiss franc was one of the safe-haven destinations
away from the dollar and away from the euro, and that's no
longer the case. So it leaves gold more isolated as an
alternative currency," said Fergal Smith, managing market
strategist at Action Economics.
 Seven of the top ten heavy advancers on the TSX were gold
miners, led by Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), up 2.3 percent at
C$53.15.
 Also supporting the index was Research In Motion RIM.TO,
which rose 3.5 percent to C$30.63 after an activist shareholder
said it wants the struggling BlackBerry maker to consider
selling itself or spinning off its patent portfolio.
[ID:nN1E7850LG]
 In other company news, shares of SNC-Lavalin Group (SNC.TO: Quote)
dropped 4.5 percent to C$48.57 after news of a corruption
investigation involving the engineering and construction
company's employees. [ID:nN1E7851CT]
 Yellow Media Inc YLO.TO dropped 12.2 percent to 79
Canadian cents after the Canadian telephone directory publisher
said Chief Financial Officer Christian Paupe had resigned
amidst a struggle to reduce debt and stave off competition.
[ID:nL3E7K62UC]
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)