CANADA STOCKS-TSX stumbles as banks, metals weigh

Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:31pm EST
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* TSX falls 21.60 points, or 0.18  percent, to 12,169.86
    * Materials, bank shares lead decline
    * Shoppers Drug Mart up 3.5 percent on results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Tuesday and touched a two-month low, pulled down by
financials and material stocks, as investors dwelt on fears of a
fiscal crisis in the United States and economic turmoil in
    Concern over whether U.S. politicians would be able to reach
a deal to tackle the "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax
rises that threatens to push the economy into recession
continued to dampen sentiment, as did a new controversy over
Greece's debt crisis. 
    "The main thing hanging over the market right now is the
fear of what's happening in the macroeconomy, whether it's
Europe or the fiscal cliff in the United States or slower
activity in China," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung
Investment Management.
    "All this feeds into the Canadian market through worries
about what's going to happen to energy prices or commodity
    Oil prices fell for the second day in a row over concerns
about lower demand. 
    Suncor Energy was the biggest contributor to the
market's decline, falling 1.53 percent to C$32.88. The energy
subgroup, one of the biggest on the index, was down 0.55
    At midafternoon, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 21.60 points, or 0.18 
percent, at 12,169.86. Earlier in the session, the index fell as
lows as 12,124.35, its lowest point since Sept. 6.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, fell
1.30 percent, hurt by falling commodity prices. 
    Goldcorp Inc fell 0.81 percent to C$43.05, and
Barrick Gold Corp was down 0.73 percent at C$35.54.
U.S. gold futures were down in midafternoon trade. 
    "The falling commodity prices are more than offsetting the
increase in production we're seeing across the resource sector.
They are having a very large impact on stock prices," said Craig
Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis,
    "By and large, the markets are going to be in a wait-and-see
mode as we progress towards the end of the year," he said.
    Some financial stocks declined, with Toronto Dominion Bank
 falling 0.51 percent to C$80.27 and Manulife Financial
Corp trading down 0.81 percent to C$12.20. The
financial subsector was down 0.29 percent.
    Shares of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp rose 3.50 percent
to C$42.56 after the pharmacy chain reported higher quarterly