CANADA STOCKS-TSX knocked down by China jitters, commodities

Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:34pm 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)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index retreated broadly on Wednesday as commodity prices tumbled on fears that bank lending curbs in China could slash demand, while U.S. earnings reports undermined confidence.

The lending restrictions in China triggered concern that demand in China, the world economy's main source of growth, could slow as authorities tighten policy. [ID:nTOE60J09N]

That pulled down prices for oil, gold and other Canadian commodities. 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: Quote), down 2.96 percent at C$39.70, followed by Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), down 3.8 percent at C$40.02.   Continued...