CANADA STOCKS-TSX drifts lower ahead of Fed meeting

Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:29am EDT
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 *TSX falls 20.33 points to 12,214.18
 *Materials, energy, financial groups lower
 (Updates with details, commentary)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
lost steam on Tuesday morning as commodity prices softened and
investors were hesitant to place big bets ahead of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the day.
 Oil, copper and gold prices all eased but remained
supported by some speculation that the Fed may signal a move
towards further stimulus measures.
 The index's materials sector slipped 0.8 percent and energy
stocks fell 0.2 percent.
 Among the biggest decliners, Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO --
which rallied on Monday as gold hit record highs -- fell 1.5
percent to C$47.09, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO dropped 0.8
percent to C$38.78.
 "You've just got a little consolidating profit-taking here
on the opening ... the market had a good day yesterday," said
Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.
 The Fed is expected to restate its existing policy with no
fresh stimulus and interest rates kept at almost zero but is
coming under increasing pressure to inject more money into the
sluggish U.S. economy. [ID:nSGE68J04M]
 "I think that's already baked into the market," Latimer
said. "I don't think people are expecting any fireworks out of
the meeting today."
 At 10:07 a.m. (1407 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 20.33 points, or
0.17 percent, at 12,214.18. But only three of its 10 sectors
were lower, including heavyweight financials, which were off
0.1 percent.
 On Monday, the TSX finished at its highest closing level
since April.
 Also tugging the TSX down, Potash Corp POT.TO fell 0.2
percent to C$152.28 after BHP Billiton's BHP.AX $39 billion
battle to take control of the world's largest fertilizer maker
failed to win immediate backing from Canadian authorities.
 On the upside, Research In Motion RIM.TO gained almost 2
percent to C$47.25 after a senior Indian government source told
Reuters the government is in talks with the company for access
to BlackBerry corporate emails. [ID:nSGE68K0JU]
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)