CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends slide as oils, golds retreat

Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:24pm EST
 
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   * TSX down 88.88 points, or 0.64 pct, at 13,867.31
 * Five of 10 main groups lower
 * Energy down 1.88 pct, materials off 2.2 pct
 * Financials up 1.4 pct
 (Updates with comments, details)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed lower for a fourth straight session on Thursday as
energy and gold-mining issues retreated after rising for
several days in reaction to the upheavals in North Africa.
 The energy group, which had advanced more than 8 percent
with gains in eight of the previous nine sessions, fell 1.88
percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) slumped 4.51 percent to C$44.00,
while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) shed 2.2 percent to
C$47.06.
 Oil prices skidded after rallying to 2-1/2-year highs, with
traders citing a rumor that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had
been shot as one reason for the late selloff. [O/R]
[ID:nL3E7DO0SC
 "The energy (sector) really seems to be taking a hit here,
but it has had a very good gain," said John Kinsey, a portfolio
manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.
 Violence in Libya, and worries the crisis could spread to
other oil-producing countries in the Middle East, had sent
crude prices soaring over the last several sessions.
[ID:nLDE71N009]
 Gold miners were also in heavy retreat and helped drag the
overall materials group 2.2 percent lower.
 Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) sank 3.03 percent to C$50.23, while
Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) sagged 4.19 percent to C$67.70. Goldcorp
(G.TO: Quote), which reported a surging profit and raised its dividend
payout after markets closed, was off 2.61 percent at C$44.45.
[ID:nN24290403]
 Bullion prices erased earlier gains as worries eased
somewhat over soaring oil prices and escalating turmoil in
Libya. [GOL/]
 News that the world's No. 2 gold producer, U.S.-based
Newmont Mining NMC.TO was forecasting lower gold and copper
production this year may also have weighed on the sector,
Kinsey said. [ID:nN24231706]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE fell 88.88 points, or 0.64 percent, to finish at
13,867.31. Five of the 10 main groups retreated.
 The index has given back all of its gains from last week,
when it closed above 14,000 points for the first time since
July 2008.
 "Everything was pretty much overbought ... The geopolitical
unwinding of (Libya) is going to cause a lot of volatility up
and down until things sort out, and they may not sort out for a
while," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
 "I'm afraid this is going to be the norm for a while ...
The market has been driven by more emotion than really
substance. Some of the stocks, particularly oil, got really
ahead of themselves, and are going to pull back."
 Offsetting losses was a 1.4 percent rise by financial
issues, as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) and
National Bank of Canada NA.TO both posted stronger than
expected profits on Thursday.
 CIBC shares jumped 3.43 percent to C$82.43 to lead the
gainers, while National Bank shares rose 2.54 percent to
C$73.60. [ID:nN24267496]
 Other banks followed suit, with Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote)
climbing 2.05 percent to C$61.77 and Bank of Nova Scotia
(BNS.TO: Quote) gaining 1.45 percent to finish at C$59.35.
 "It was really the financials (group) that was leading the
parade today," said Kinsey. "If there was one disappointment it
would be (CIBC) didn't raise their dividend."
 The healthcare group was another strong gainer, climbing
1.98 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO: Quote) rose 3.22
percent to C$39.40 after posting earnings and revenue that
topped expectations. [ID:nN24254223]
 Consumer discretionary shares tumbled 1.73 percent, weighed
down by Magna International Inc (MG.TO: Quote), which sank 9.71
percent to C$49.63, after the world's No. 3 auto-parts maker
posted disappointing quarterly earnings and margin forecasts.
[ID:nN24246953]
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)