CANADA STOCKS-Boehner fiscal-cliff talk lifts TSX off 1-week low

Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:50am EST
 
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* TSX down 46.45 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,065.18
    * Nine of 10 sectors decline
    * RIM shrugs off patent loss and edges up

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
lower on Wednesday but off earlier lows after U.S. House Speaker
John Boehner voiced optimism that Republicans could broker a
deal with the White House to avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax
hikes and spending cuts that threatens a U.S. recession in the
new year.
    The index had hit a one-week low in early dealings, led down
by mining and energy stocks, as fresh doubts over the resolution
of the U.S. fiscal crisis hurt investor sentiment and pulled
commodity prices lower.
    Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a stalemate
over how to solve the crisis, and Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid on Tuesday expressed disappointment that there was "little
progress". The market was also skeptical about the impact of a
deal reached earlier this week to reduce Greece's debt.
 
    But the market perked up a bit after Boehner said that
Republicans were willing to put revenues on the table to get a
U.S. fiscal deal if Democrats agreed to spending cuts.
 
    "Investors are looking for a statement of how the United
States really plans to resolve this problem. So far there
doesn't seem to be a plan," said Fred Ketchen, director of
equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
    At midmorning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 46.45 points, or 0.38
percent, at 12,065.18. Earlier in the session, the index hit
12,004.49, its lowest point since Nov. 20.
    Material and energy stocks, which make up more than half the
index's weight, fell 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
Nine of the index's 10 main sectors were lower.
    Gold miners dropped as gold prices fell 1.5 percent. 
Goldcorp Inc was down 1.7 percent at C$38.30, Eldorado
Gold fell 2.1 percent to C$14.62, and Yamana Gold Inc
 shed 1.5 percent to C$18.96.
    Oil producer Suncor Energy Inc, down 1.5 percent at
C$32.41, played the biggest role of any single stock in leading
the index lower. Oil prices also hit a one-week low on
Wednesday. 
    In other news, Canadian Tire Corp Ltd agreed to buy
closely held hockey chain Pro Hockey Life Sporting Goods Inc for
C$85 million. Its shares were down 0.4 percent at C$66.73.
 
    Research In Motion Ltd lost a contract dispute over
the use of Nokia patents in a case which could halt sales of its
BlackBerry phones if it does not reach a deal to pay royalties
to the Finnish company. But RIM shares, which fell in early
trading, later edged higher to C$10.73.