CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls to 1-week low on softer gold, oil

Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:10pm EDT
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   * TSX ends down 146.66 points, or 1.04 pct, at 13,892.73
 * All 10 main groups lower
 * Materials, energy lead decline
 (Adds details, quotes)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
tumbled more than 1 percent on Monday to a one-week low as
commodity prices sank from recent lofty levels, driving down
heavyweight energy and mining issues.
 The materials sector, home to mining companies, finished
down 1.8 percent while oil and gas stocks were off 1.3 percent.
Combined, the two sectors make up about half of the TSX's
composite index.
 Among influential decliners, Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO
dipped 1.5 percent to C$49.74, while Agnico Eagle AEM.TO
dropped 2.6 percent to C$64.65. Suncor Energy SU.TO was down
1.8 percent at C$43.33 and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO
lost 2 percent to C$46.81.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended down 146.66 points, or 1.04 percent, at
3,892.73, its weakest close since March 21. All of the index's
10 main groups finished in the red, including financials, down
0.5 percent.
 Comments last Friday by Federal Reserve officials that the
U.S. central bank would have to raise interest rates in the
"not-too-distant future" to avoid inflation helped pressure oil
and gold prices, as did and easing worries about unrest in the
Middle East and North Africa. [GOL/] [O/R] [ID:nL3E7ES07Y]
 As well, copper suffered its biggest one-day loss in about
three weeks on concerns about softness in Chinese demand and
rising inventory levels. Diversified miner Teck Resources
TCKb.TO slid 2.2 percent to C$51.50. [MET/L]
 Fertilizer companies were also hit, with Potash Corp
POT.TO falling 1.5 percent to C$55.26.
 "Investors are totally geared to having the Fed sit on the
sidelines in terms of rate hikes, and anything that causes a
change in that scenario could have a detrimental impact on
equity markets," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist
at Global Securities in Vancouver.
 Hopes that the Libyan situation will get resolved sooner
rather than later contributed to weigh on commodity prices, he
 "The market is in a transitionary period here and trying to
digest all this uncertainty in news," said Peter Chandler,
senior vice-president and director at Canaccord Wealth
 Picardo added that investors were likely squaring positions
ahead of the month and quarter end later this week, though the
market could also see some last-minute buying, which is usually
the case.
 "There's been no shortage of risk factors that investors
have been fixated upon ... also you're just a month way from
this typical period when equities really start to slow down in
earnest, and that's the May to October period," he said.
 In individual company news, shares of Lululemon Athletica
LLL.TO jumped almost 8 percent to C$83.32 after stock pundit
Jim Cramer praised the Canadian yoga-wear retailer on his Mad
Money show on CNBC on Friday. The company announced two-for-one
stock split after the market close. [ID:nN28207842]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)