CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls after Bernanke speech, golds support

Thu Sep 8, 2011 5:05pm EDT
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 * TSX down 36.6 points, or 0.29 percent, at 12,683.96
 * Seven of 10 sectors lower; banks, energy drag
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index slipped on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke gave no indications of new stimulus measures to boost
the flagging U.S. economy in a keenly awaited speech.
 Investors were also cautious ahead of a speech by U.S.
President Barack Obama calling for urgent steps to spur the
economy and create jobs. But Canadian stocks outperformed their
U.S. counterparts, helped by a rise in heavily weighted gold
 "There are some pretty severe stresses that are not being
dealt with very well, or in any sort convincing fashion yet, so
after a bit of rebound we are turning around and heading into
the main trend in the market right now, which is down," said
Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities in
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed down 36.6 points, or 0.29 percent at
12,683.96. Seven of the 10 main sectors were lower.
 Investors have been looking to policymakers to address a
host of concerns from slowing global growth to Europe's debt
 Obama, who is to speak at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), is
expected to lay out a $300 billion plan to include tax cuts for
the middle class and businesses and new infrastructure
spending. [nN1E7870HE]
 "It seems to me like every time those guys open their mouth
the market is just saying enough already and starts heading
south," Levente added.
 Financial stocks weighed most heavily on the TSX, falling
0.9 percent to give back the previous sessions gains.
Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO was the index's heaviest drag,
falling 1.7 percent to C$76.31. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO
lost 0.8 percent to hit C$52.81.
 Energy shares lost 0.7 percent as the price of oil tracked
equities lower. Talisman Energy TLM.TO fell 2 percent to
C$15.61. [O/R] 
 But the TSX outperformed U.S. markets, as defensive sectors
helped to cushion the fall. The Dow Jones industrial average
.DJI and Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX were both down
more than 1 percent.
 "We're benefiting from the price of gold," said Fred
Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
 "Plus we've got a bit of a bump up in the utilities sector,
people buying utilities looking for yields."
 Gold miners added 2 percent as the price of the safe-haven
metal surged, pushing the broader materials sector into
positive territory. [GOL/]
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO gained 1.7 percent to C$54.61, and
Goldcorp G.TO added 1.6 percent to C$55.30.
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)