CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops on commodity weakness, U.S. data

Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:28pm EST
 
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 * TSX falls 0.73 percent to 11,539.630
 * Bank shares mixed after initial rise on BMO's profit
 * U.S. Q3 GDP revision slightly lower than expected
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell
on Tuesday, pulled lower by weakness in energy and metals
producers, and weighed down by data showing a slow economic
recovery in the United States.
 Bank stocks ended mixed after an early rise spurred by a 16
percent jump in Bank of Montreal's BMO.TO quarterly profit.
All Big Five bank stocks topped the market's list of risers
[ID:nN23263602] in the morning but those gains eroded as the
market weighed BMO's results against U.S. data that showed
slower-than-expected growth. [ID:nN24296971]
 "Overall I would have thought it would have had a slightly
positive bias today, but from Canada's point of view, the
commodities have been kind of sloppy all day," said Lex
Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth
Management Ltd in Calgary.
 "I think people are just pausing here."
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 84.39
points, or 0.73 percent, at 11,539.63, after opening higher.
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO led all heavyweight decliners
with a 1.4 percent drop to C$57.37, but Bank of Nova Scotia
rose 0.24 percent to C$49.24. Bank of Montreal fell 0.8 percent
to C$53.14.
  Mining stocks were a key drag even as the price of gold
turned higher, but base metals prices were under pressure.
Goldcorp G.TO was off 2.2 percent at C$45.84, and Barrick
Gold ABX.TO was down 1.47 percent to C$45.57. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 Oil and gas producers followed the price of crude lower,
but Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO bucked the trend with a
1.4 percent gain to C$71.95.
 Along with the third-quarter U.S. growth figures, other
U.S. data was more upbeat as house prices in September gained
for a fifth straight month and an improvement in consumer
morale signaled the anemic recovery was intact.
[ID:nN24296971]
 "I think it just confirms that we're in a slow recovery
here. It's good to see a positive but it wasn't as positive as
people were expecting," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research
at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
 Shares of Aeterna Zentaris AEZ.TO faded after earlier
jumping 16 percent as the biotech company said its uterus
cancer treatment met its primary goal in a mid-stage trial. The
shares pared gains on doubts about the significance of the
data. Aeterna closed up 1.9 percent at C$1.07. [ID:nN24304186]
 Other active issues included Alimentation Couche-Tard
ATDb.TO and George Weston WN.TO, both of which reported a
lower quarterly profit. [ID:nN24303310] [ID:nN24296821]
 Couche-Tard gained 4.3 percent to C$20.97, while George
Weston finished unchanged at C$59.10.
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
 ((kayan.ng@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging:
kayan.ng.reuters.com@reuters.net; 416-941-8109))
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