CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower for 3rd day on late materials drop

Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:42pm EST
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   * TSX down 0.55 percent at 13,258.57
 * Late day drop by materials more than offsets oil rally
 (Updates to close)
 TORONTO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished lower for a third straight day on Friday, accelerating
its decline toward the close on a late-day selloff in the
materials group.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE, which was largely flat for much of the afternoon,
finished down 72.75 points, or 0.55 percent, at 13,258.57.
 Seven of the index's 10 main groups ended lower, pressured
by a sharp 1.7 percent drop in materials, a lot of it in the
final minutes of the session.
 "(It was) a tug of war between energy stocks and material
stocks today," said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at
Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
 The weakness in materials was broad-based, with base and
precious metals miners falling. The price of bullion notched
its third weekly loss, while copper stabilized after falling to
a one-month low.
 Teck Resources TCKb.TO shed 2.67 percent to C$58.66,
while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) lost 1.03 percent to C$46.33.
 The overall decline was cushioned by a rally in the oil and
gas sector, which rose 1.08 percent.
 It was the strength in the price of natural gas that was
driving energy issues on Friday, rather than U.S. crude oil,
which was softer on rising supply. Warne noted that cold
weather and higher heating demand were helping to push up
natural gas prices.
 Advancers included Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 1.04 percent
at C$38.06, while Talisman Energy TLM.TO rose 2.24 percent to
 The index advanced strongly at the beginning of the
session, spurred by rising U.S. stock markets and better than
expected profit from General Electric (GE.N: Quote) and higher net
revenues from Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote) [.N]
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)