CANADA STOCKS-TSX drifts lower ahead of U.S. Fed statement

Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:07am EDT
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   * TSX down 79.18 points, or 0.65 pct at 12,132.41
 * All 10 main sectors lower, base-metal miners weigh
 (Adds details, analyst comment)
 TORONTO, Sept 21  (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
drifted lower on Wednesday morning as cautious investors
awaited a Federal Reserve policy statement that could include
new measures to boost a struggling U.S. economy.
 The Fed is expected to announce plans at 2:15 p.m. (1815
GMT) to shift its bond portfolio in favor of longer-dated
issues and so push long-term interest rates -- already near
historic lows -- even lower in a move known as Operation Twist.
 "Everyone's awaiting 2:15. People want to see what the
Fed's going to do, whether there's this Twist, whether it's
QE3," said said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds
 "The market continues to drift ... The volatility is pretty
 At 10:37 a.m. (1437 GMT) The Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 79.18 points, or
0.65 percent at 12,132.41 . All 10 main sectors were lower.
 Base-metal miners weighed on the materials sector as copper
prices sagged to another 2011 low on demand worries fueled by
prospects the euro zone debt crisis could derail the global
recovery. [MET/L]
 Teck Resources TCKb.TO, was down 2.7 percent at C$35.13,
while First Quantum Minerals FM.TO fell 5.2 percent to
 Economic uncertainty also weighed on the industrials group,
which slid 2.1 percent. Canadian National Railway CNR.TO was
the top decliner as it fell 2.5 percent to C$66.91, while
Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO slid 3.6 percent to C$48.99.
 Financials slipped 0.4 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia
BNS.TO, down 0.5 percent at C$51.39 and Manulife Financial
MFC.TO, off 1.5 percent at C$12.26.
 "It's testing everyone. You're 10 days from the end of the
month and the end of the quarter. The bottom line is that
everyone's waiting for some catalyst, some hard-core
information to give people comfort," said Michael.     
 Among top advancers, miner Silver Wheaton SLW.TO added 2
percent to C$41.17, while Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO bucked
the trend among banks, rising 0.3 percent to C$47.18.
 ($1=$1 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Trish Nixon; editing by Rob Wilson)