CANADA STOCKS-TSX has a down day, but up strongly on month

Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:54pm EDT
 
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 *TSX closes down 14.17 points at 12,368.65
 *Ends up almost 4 pct on month, near 10 pct on quarter
 (Updates to close)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed slightly lower on Thursday, weighed down by weak gold
shares and profit-taking on the last day of a strong quarter
and an unusually solid September.
 The TSX index ended September, historically the
worst-performing month of the year, up almost 4 percent, and
finished the third quarter up nearly 10 percent. On the year,
it has risen more than 5 percent.
 "If you were buying earlier this month, you've done pretty
well so maybe you say all right, let's actually lock in some
profits because it has been a very up and down year," said
Gavin Graham, president of Graham Investment Strategy.
 The market was volatile throughout the day, but produced
little direction as investors digested a mixed bag of economic
data and commodity prices.
 Among the key gainers, energy shares advanced 1.1 percent.
In the group, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose 0.9 percent to
C$33.50.
 Decliners were led by heavy losses for gold miners, down
1.7 percent. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's No. 1
producer, tumbled 2.1 percent to C$47.55.
 Barrick was also seen affected by the Argentine Senate's
passage of a law that would curb mining on the nation's
glaciers. Analysts say the law could make it more expensive for
Barrick to develop its huge Pascua Lama site high in the Andes.
[ID: nN30287719]
  "If you look at what's been up quite strongly it's things
like the resources, but today, apart from a couple dollars in
the oil price, that's not enough to move things," Graham said.
  Oil prices rose to near $80 a barrel on Thursday on better
news for the U.S. economy, but copper softened and gold backed
off recent record highs. [O/R] [MET/L] [GOL/]
  John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities,
said investors need to see the gold price stay above $1,300 an
ounce if they are going to push TSX gold stocks higher.
 "I think we really need to get the commodity up above
$1,300 by a reasonable amount of $15 or more, and then I think
all the gold stocks will finally become something that people
will want to own."
   The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended Thursday down 14.17 points, or 0.1 percent, at
12,368.65, with five of its 10 main sectors lower, including
materials, down 1.6 percent. Financial shares were up 0.2
percent. On Wednesday, the index rallied to its best level in
two years.
 Supporting the market was U.S. data that showed new claims
for jobless aid fell last week, while manufacturing in the
Midwest grew faster than expected in September. In Canada, data
showed the economy contracted for the first time in a year in
July. [ID:nN30285244] [ID:nN30434455]
  ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)