CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as gold miners, Potash Corp weigh

Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:44pm EST
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* TSX ends down 0.45 percent at 11,701.81

* Potash Corp hit by price cut

* Thin trading due to holidays (Adds official closing numbers, analyst quotes, details)

By John McCrank

TORONTO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell on Tuesday, led by a drop in the materials sector as shares of gold miners suffered from a slide in the price of bullion.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote), the world's biggest producer of the fertilizer ingredient, also weighed on the sector, falling 2.2 percent to C$114.50 after the company announced a deep price cut for the commodity. [ID:nN29159865]

Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) was the biggest heavyweight decliner of the day, down 3.7 percent at C$41.13. The company said toward the end of the session that it would match a rival's bid to acquire junior miner Canplats Resources. [ID:nN29155234]

Four other gold miners were in the top-ten decliners, with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) dropping 2.3 percent to C$41.47 and Kinross (K.TO: Quote) down 3 percent at C$19.15. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO: Quote) fell 3.2 percent to C$11.97 and Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) shed 2.4 percent to C$56.60.

Gold fell below $1,100 an ounce, snapping a three-day winning streak, as a rally in the U.S. dollar undercut the appeal of the precious metal as a hedge against inflation. [GOL/]   Continued...