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, Finning International FTT.TO and Thomson Reuters TRI.TO 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 led all heavyweight decliners, falling 1.68 percent to C$38.71, while fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO fell 1.86 percent to C$114.20.   Continued...