CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips for 3rd day as gold, results drag

Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:29pm EST
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* TSX slips 0.04 percent to 11,521.83

* Bernanke says rates to stay low for long time

* Disappointing corporate earnings drag

* Big banks mixed ahead of results (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index ended slightly lower on Wednesday as a lower gold price dragged down miners and weaker than expected corporate results weighed.

Disappointing results from several companies, including TransAlta (TA.TO: Quote), Finning International (FTT.TO: Quote) and Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO: Quote) outweighed early benefits from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's commitment to keep U.S. interest rates low.

An unexpected drop in new U.S. home sales also underscored concerns about a shaky U.S. economic recovery, which helped to pull down the price of gold below $1,100 an ounce. Oil, however, was up on the day, above $80 a barrel, but energy shares stayed negative. [GOL/] [O/R]

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) led all heavyweight decliners, falling 1.68 percent to C$38.71, while fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) fell 1.86 percent to C$114.20.   Continued...