* TSX falls 0.58 percent to 12,076.89
* S&P cut to Spain’s debt rating rattles market
* Fed’s economic view brightens, low rate vow holds
* Gold producers shine as bullion climbs (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell for a second straight day on Wednesday as worries over Europe’s fiscal troubles outweighed a brief shot in the arm provided by a more upbeat U.S. Federal Reserve outlook.
Financial and energy shares were among the heavyweight sectors leading the way lower, down 1.38 percent and 0.55 percent, respectively.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the country’s biggest lender, dropped 1.34 percent to C$60.58, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) lost 1.25 percent to C$74.49. Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canada’s biggest oil producer, dropped 1 percent to C$33.57.
Nervousness over the fragility of sovereign debt in the euro zone spurred a flight to safe-haven assets after Spain was hit by a credit rating downgrade on Wednesday, following downgrades to Greece and Portugal on Tuesday. [ID:nWNA9804] [ID:nTOPNOW2]
“The main thing that’s driving the markets in the last few days is the fear of what’s happening in Europe and how far is that contagion likely to spread,” said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished 69.85 points, or 0.58 percent, lower at 12,076.89. Nine of the index’s 10 main groups were down.
The index briefly popped into positive territory in the afternoon after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged near zero and offered a brighter economic view. [ID:nN27125552]
The U.S. central bank renewed its promise to keep rates low for an “extended period” and said U.S. consumer and business spending were picking up steam.
“The (Federal Open Market Committee) statement was very friendly for equity markets. They maintained their dovish stance and subtly upgraded their assessment of the economy,” said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.
The heavyweight materials group was up 1.35 percent, making it the TSX index’s lone rising sector, well-supported by broad gains for gold producers as bullion prices rallied to their best level in almost five months. [GOL/]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) added 2.6 percent to C$42.51, rising with the broad gold rally and on the back of a first-quarter profit that more than doubled to a record high. [ID:nN27154316]
Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) surged 2.74 percent to C$59.71 after reporting a jump in first-quarter profit that topped expectations, citing the stronger economy. [ID:nN28168960]
Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO), which owns Canada’s biggest wireless carrier, dropped 1.65 percent to C$35.06, despite a 23 percent rise in quarterly earnings. [ID:nN28168151]
Canada’s two big drugstore chains, Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO and Jean Coutu (PJCa.TO), reported higher profits, but worries about an Ontario government plan that would cut revenues from dispensing prescription drugs overshadowed the results. [ID:nN28142925]
Shoppers slumped 2.93 percent to C$36.15, while Jean Coutu slipped 0.66 percent to C$9.
$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway