CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips from 2-year peak as golds weigh

Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:52pm EST
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* TSX dips 14.76 points to 13,434.41

* Golds lead decline from 2-year high

* Base metal miners, fertilizer cos advance (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index retreated slightly on Thursday after hitting a two-year high as weakness in gold miners held back the materials group and investors were wary of taking on more risk before the new year.

All three heavyweight sectors -- financials, materials and energy -- were weaker, on the back of softer bullion and oil prices and after upbeat U.S. economic data failed to lift the market further. [GOL/] [O/R]

Among the heaviest decliners were Barrick Gold ABX.TO, down 1 percent at C$52.61, Goldcorp Inc G.TO, off 0.6 percent at C$45.34, and Cenovus Energy CVE.TO, down 0.8 percent at C$32.95.

"We're a little on a hangover here," said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services, pointing out that it was still a record year for gold.

"The party of the last six months has been terrific. The last six months have gone straight up on the back of base metals, commodities, materials, and I guess we're just getting some fatigue as we head into the last couple trading days of the year."   Continued...