CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as economic concerns mount

Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:54am EDT
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* TSX down 0.36 percent at 11,668.17

* Resource groups pressured by retreating commodity prices

* Potash remains buoyed by hopes of richer offer

* Canada July inflation tame (Adds details)

TORONTO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell broadly on Friday morning, tracking equity markets around the world as jitters lingered about a faltering global economic recovery.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 42.01 points, or 0.36 percent, at 11,668.17, paring a decline of nearly 1 percent in the early going. Eight of the index's 10 main groups were lower, with the energy and materials sectors down sharply on retreating commodity prices.

Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel, said the weakness continued from Thursday with the general malaise in the U.S. economy depressing investor sentiment after data showed a tepid labor market and a contraction in regional factory activity.

The price of oil dropped to a six-week low below $74 a barrel, which weighed on key energy issues such as Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), off 1.4 percent at C$32.53, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), down 1.7 percent at C$33.42.

The index's materials group, home to golds and fertilizer producer Potash Corp, was down 0.27 percent. Some gold-mining issues, which have shone in recent sessions, were weaker on Friday as the price of gold slid below $1,230 an ounce. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) was off 0.66 percent at C$43.52, while Yamana Gold (YRI.TO: Quote) dipped 0.09 percent to C$10.55. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) bucked the trend, rising 0.41 percent to C$46.86.   Continued...