CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits near six-week low on global debt fears

Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:14pm EST
 
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   * TSX down 107.72 pts, or 0.91 pct, at 11,784.72
 * Energy and materials issues plunge
 * Oil, gold and copper prices fall
 (Adds details, analyst comments)
 By Jon Cook
 TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks hit their
lowest level in nearly six weeks on Monday as commodity prices
sagged on worries about the global economic outlook and debt
crises dominating headlines in Europe and the United States.
 Shares of energy and mining companies were hardest hit as
investors worried over the prospects for growth given the debt
problems on both sides of the Atlantic.
 A U.S. congressional committee said it failed to reach a
deal to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the U.S. deficit over
the next decade. Expectation of the failure helped lead to the
broad selloff in riskier assets and currencies. [ID:nWEN1065]
 The pressure on debt issued by the euro zone's troubled
economies remains unabated, with yields on Spanish, Italian and
Belgian bonds all rising. In a sign of the crisis spreading to
countries once seen as safe, French yields also rose after
Moody's warned about the country's credit rating.
 "If the market is a little bit more fearful of a greater
slowdown in the global economy commodities are going to get
smacked," said Philip Petursson, managing director of the
portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.
 Commodity prices slid with the European outlook, as gold,
oil, metals and grains tumbled. The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
.CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell for the third
straight session, hitting its lowest level in more than month.
[ID:nN1E7AK1RF]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE finished down 107.72 points, or 0.91 percent, at
11,784.72. The index at one point touched 11,636.12, its
weakest level since Oct. 11.
 The energy sector led the broader index lower, plunging 1.7
percent as oil prices fell and trading volumes remained tepid.
[O/R]
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was the biggest drag on energy issues
and the broader market, tumbling 1.8 percent to C$30.94.
 Mining stocks sagged as gold and copper prices fell
sharply, pulling down the heavily weighted materials sector,
which dropped 1.3 percent.
 Base metal issues fell 1.7 percent as copper prices slid to
their lowest levels in nearly a month on fears of a European
slowdown and warnings from China about gloomy global growth
prospects. [MET/L]
 "The increased likelihood that you have a double-dip in
Europe means that anything economically sensitive is selling
off," said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD
Waterhouse.
 Tech Resources (TCKb.TO: Quote) was among the biggest laggards,
tumbling 1.3 percent to C$34.69.
 Gold extended last week's slide, falling more than 1
percent, swept lower by a U.S. dollar that gained on a flight
to safety. [GOL/]
 Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) was down 0.8 percent at C$51.46, with
the overall gold subsector dropping 1 percent.
 ($1=$1.04 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)