CANADA STOCKS-TSX in bear zone as resources pull it to 2011 low

Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:36pm EDT
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   * TSX falls 99.64 points, or 0.86 percent, at 11,462.87
 * Index touches lowest point since July 2010
 * Eight of 10 sectors higher; materials, energy weigh
 (Adds comments, details)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - A selloff in resource-based
shares drove Toronto's main stock index to a 2011 low and into
bear territory on Friday as growing fears of a global recession
and a Greek debt default battered commodities.
 The index's heavyweight materials group tumbled 4.4 percent
as metals plunged across the board. Gold slumped more than 6
percent, the biggest slide since the financial crisis of 2008,
driving the TSX's gold-mining sub-group down 5 percent. [MET/L]
 "Golds were for most of the year the big performers, and
then fears of the recession, profit-taking, and (U.S. Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke's ineffective attempt at
propping things up all converged in sending them down," said
John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
 "These stocks got caught in the downdraft, just like we saw
in '08."
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO was the heaviest decliner, down 4.9
percent at C$47.73, while GoldCorp G.TO fell 4.4 percent to
 First Quantum Minerals FM.TO tumbled 7.3 percent to
C$13.71 as copper fell to its its lowest level since August
2010. [MET/L]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended the session down 99.64 points, or 0.86 percent,
at 11,462.87. It touched a session low of 11,355.82, its
weakest point since July 2010.
 The TSX lost nearly 7 percent of its value this week, as
severe anxiety over Europe's spiraling debt crisis and the
Fed's dire warning about headwinds facing the U.S. economy
triggered three days of heavy selling.
 The index has fallen more than 20 percent from the 2011
high it set in March, meeting the definition of a bear market.
 "I can say I've never seen the Street as bearish and as
gloomy as it is," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at
BMO Harris Private Banking.
 "There is a concern that the issues are not being addressed
in a thorough fashion and, if they aren't, the markets will
continue to weigh in with their verdict, which is obviously not
 A pledge by G20 policymakers that they will take steps to
calm the global financial system failed to appease investors,
who are concerned that authorities are unable to respond
effectively to the mounting euro zone debt crisis and sluggish
growth in major world economies. [ID:nL5E7KN1IW]
 Eight of the TSX's 10 main sectors bounced higher on
Friday, but energy issues sank a further 1.1 percent as oil
fell to six-week lows. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO
slipped 2.2 percent to C$30.23. [O/R]
The financials group helped cushion the losses as it held on
to moderate gains, ending the session up 0.5 percent. Royal
Bank of Canada RY.TO was the index's most heavily weighted
advancer, up 1.6 percent at C$46.09, while Bank of Nova Scotia
BNS.TO rose 1.5 percent to C$50.73.
 "It's sort of the quiet before the storm, we haven't
figured out yet what's going to happen with the European
banks," Ing said.
 "There's the inevitable contagion, and our banks are not
immune from the problems overseas or south of the border."
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
 (Additional reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Peter
Galloway and Rob Wilson)