CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as golds offset revival of euro hopes

Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:47pm EDT
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   *TSX ends down 19.17 points, or 0.16 pct, at 11,830.33
 *Five of 10 sectors weaker, golds sag
 (Updates to close)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended lower on Thursday as heavyweight gold miners sold off,
but assurances from French and German leaders that a solution
to Europe's debt crisis is in the works helped the index
recover from steeper losses earlier in the day.
 Commodity shares led the fall as oil and metal prices
slipped, with gold miners the most heavily weighted decliners.
Barrick Gold ABX.TO fell 1.6 percent to C$44.94, Agnico Eagle
AEM.TO dropped 6.4 percent to C$44.30, and Goldcorp G.TO
was down 0.7 percent to C$45.01.
 "Gold seems to have lost its luster in the last little
while in terms of the safe-haven aspect," said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice-president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver. "I'm not sure whether that points to more
optimism in the broader economy."
 He added that news on Wednesday that Agnico Eagle is
closing its Goldex mine in Quebec also put a big dent in
sentiment for the gold sector. [ID:nL3E7LJ1GZ]
 Stocks teetered between losses and gains for most of the
session as sensitive markets reacted to a flood of headlines
about efforts to deal with the situation in Greece and other
debt-laden euro zone countries.
 "The market appears prime for a rally but that only will be
predicated by something positive coming out of Europe," Picardo
  Losses were limited after France and Germany assured
markets that European leaders at a summit on Sunday will
discuss in detail a comprehensive solution to the euro zone
crisis, though no decisions will be adopted before a second
meeting is held later in the week. [ID:nL5E7LK5QI]
 U.S. data also helped support the market. Factory activity
in the Mid-Atlantic region rebounded in October and the number
of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell last week in
fresh signs that the U.S. economy is likely to duck a new
recession. [ID:nN1E79J0BQ]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 19.17 points, or 0.16 percent, at
11,830.33. Five of its 10 main groups were weaker.
 Picardo noted minor support for the index around 11,500 and
more significant reinforcement around 11,000.
 Financials ended 0.1 percent higher as Royal Bank of Canada
RY.TO gained 0.4 percent at C$47.59, and Toronto-Dominion
Bank TD.TO added 0.5 percent to C$73.72.
 Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO lost 0.1 percent to C$51.67
after announcing it will pay about $1 billion in cash and stock
for a majority stake in Colombia's Banco Colpatria COL.CN,
expanding its footprint in the Latin American country.
 "The financials have been stronger. They're carrying on as
if nothing has happened," said Barry Schwartz, vice president
and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. "Look at
BNS making a billion-dollar acquisition today, they have excess
balance sheets, they're ready to spend money."
 In Canadian earnings news, Encana Corp's ECA.TO quarterly
profit beat expectations, partly on an unexpectedly large tax
recovery, but shares in Canada's largest natural gas producer
fell 0.5 percent to C$20.44 as investors remained bearish on
the outlook on prices for the fuel. [ID:nL3E7LK1N2]
 "They did beat out expectations but everybody knows where
oil and natural gas prices have been," Schwartz said. "They've
been down in the dumps."
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)