CANADA STOCKS-TSX pulled lower as energy, materials retreat

Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:17pm EST
 
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   *TSX falls 0.41 percent to 13,410.20
 *Material, energy groups give up some of Wednesday's gains
 *Potash rises almost 3 percent on earnings, stock split
 *Shoppers falls more 5 percent on CEO resignation
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed lower on Thursday as easing precious metal and oil
prices dragged down its hefty materials and energy sectors.
 Although seven of the index's 10 main sectors advanced, the
energy sector closed down 0.9 percent, while the mining-heavy
materials sector shed 1.59 percent.
 Top decliners included Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), down 3.3
percent at C$46.02, while diversified miner Teck Resources
(TCKb.TO: Quote) lost 2.92 percent to C$59.13. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote)
fell 1.4 percent to C$38.55, and fellow oil company Canadian
Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) dropped 1.74 percent to C$41.90.
 The price of gold slid to a three-month low on retreating
investor appetite for the precious metal and on growing
expectations of rising interest rates, which would ultimately
make bullion a less attractive investment. Silver prices also
declined.[ID:nLDE70Q148] [GOL/]
 U.S. crude oil futures fell nearly 2 percent on pressure
from a rise in U.S. jobless claims as well as Kuwaiti and
International Energy Agency remarks about more output from
OPEC. [ID:nL3E7CR07M] [O/R]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE fell 55.55 points, or 0.41 percent, to end at
13,410.20.
 "There's a little bit of volatility in the commodities in
general. Most of the commodity producers have had quite a large
run and are consolidating those gains, and figuring out where
to go from here," said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio
manager at Van Arbor Asset Management. "We're seeing a little
bit of profit-taking as well."
 On Wednesday, resources shares carried the index to a gain
of more than 200 points and a one-week high.
 Financials were among key advancers on Thursday, up 0.48
percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rising 1.06 percent
to C$53.46, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) advanced 0.85
percent to C$56.63. Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) gained 0.97
percent to C$17.76.
 "It's like a teeter-totter, one sector goes down, then the
other will go up," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC
Funds. "The materials, oil and gas are down. The
interest-sensitives appear to be up. The market remains very
volatile."
 Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) led heavyweight blue-chip advancers,
with its shares rising 2.92 percent to C$172.26 after it
announced a doubling of quarterly earnings as well as a stock
split and a higher dividend. Early in the session, it was up
more than 5.5 percent. [ID:nN27232194]
 Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO was one of the biggest net
losers, falling 5.08 percent to C$37.19 after it surprised
investors late Wednesday by announcing Chief Executive Jurgen
Schreiber was resigning. RBC downgraded the pharmacy chain on
Thursday following the news. [ID:nN26187339]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho and Claire Sibonney;
editing by Rob Wilson and Peter Galloway)