CANADA STOCKS-Italy triggers biggest TSX 1-day drop in a month

Wed Nov 9, 2011 5:28pm EST
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   * TSX slumps 332.63 pts, or 2.7 pct, to 12,156.22
 * Index has biggest one-day drop since Oct. 3
 * Energy, materials sectors lead market lower
 * Italian bond yields hit 7 pct, sparking fears
 (Adds details)
 By Jon Cook
 TORONTO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks had their
biggest one-day drop in a month on Wednesday as a spike in
Italian bond yields sparked fears that Europe's debt crisis had
entered a dangerous new phase that could threaten the global
 Global stocks and commodity prices took a pounding after
Italy's 10-year bond yields rose above the precarious 7 percent
level, which had previously caused other European Union
countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek
bailouts. [MKTS/GLOB]
 Investors are concerned that, at those levels, Italy will
be unable to continue to pay its more than 2 trillion euro debt
and the country could be too big for euro zone and
international lenders to bail out.
 "It's a severe risk-off day," said Patricia Mohr, a
commodity market specialist at Scotia Capital. "When this
concern intensifies, investors have been shifting out of
equities and commodity futures positions into cash and the
security of U.S. Treasury securities."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE plunged 332.63 points, or 2.7 percent, to 12,156.22
in the exchange's worst one-day performance since Oct. 3.
 Energy stocks led the market lower, falling more than 4
percent. The biggest drag was Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote), which
plunged 5.6 percent to C$31.44.
 The heavily weighted materials sector dropped 3 percent,
led by Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote), which slid 4 percent to C$47.63.
 The base metals mining subsector also dropped heavily,
falling nearly 8 percent.
 The biggest loser among base metal producers was First
Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote), whose shares fell more than 14
percent to C$19.76 a day after the Vancouver-based miner
lowered its full-year production outlook to reflect a dip in
quarterly production. [ID:nL4E7M83WT]
 Even gold shares, a traditional safe haven, did poorly.
After hitting a near two-month high at the start the week, the
subindex of gold miners fell nearly 2 percent.
 Despite limited direct exposure to European government debt
holdings, Canadian financials fell 2.3 percent amid the worries
over Italy. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) led the slide, sinking
2.8 percent to C$45.13.
 "It's fear of contagion," said John Kinsey, portfolio
manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd. "They're the third-largest
economy in Europe and this is really where the fear factor
comes in. It's not just Greece with 10 million people."
 "If (the EU) economy goes down, that affects China because
they were a big importer from China and people are worried the
Chinese economy will slow."
 Top U.S. bond manager PIMCO, one of the world's largest
holders of Italian sovereign debt, said Italy's debt woes
represented "a new, even more dangerous phase in Europe's debt
crisis." [ID:nN1E7A8104]
 In individual company news, shares of patent licensing firm
Wi-Lan Inc WIN.TO fell more than 8 percent after it cut its
full-year outlook as sales to its major dish television
customers slowed. [ID:nL4E7M92BY]
 WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO: Quote) shares sagged 3.9 percent to
C$12.63, after Canada's No. 2 carrier reported lower
third-quarter profit on higher maintenance and jet fuel costs.
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Rob Wilson)