CANADA STOCKS-TSX knocked down by China jitters, commodities

Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:54pm EST
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* TSX falls 0.71 percent to end at 11,679.32

* Mining, energy issues lead slide

* Worries arise about bank lending curbs in China (Adds details)

TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended lower on Wednesday on a broad retreat among heavyweight materials, energy and banking issues, as commodity prices tumbled on fears that bank lending curbs in China could slash demand.

Oil and gold prices were also weighed down by a stronger greenback, which was seen pressuring demand for dollar-priced commodities. Gold fell more than 2 percent to hit a two-week low, while oil slipped below $78 a barrel.

"We've seen another surge in the U.S. dollar and that's really impacted commodity prices," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The top two drags on the index were Barrick Gold ABX.TO, down 2.96 percent at C$39.70, followed by Goldcorp G.TO, down 3.8 percent at C$40.02.

Other key decliners included Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, down 0.73 percent at C$45.95, while Suncor Energy SU.TO dropped 0.87 percent to C$36.61.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 84.10 points, or 0.71 percent, at 11,679.32. Seven of the index's 10 main groups were lower.

Earlier, the index fell as low as 11,581.64.

($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)