CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 5-month low as resources dive on growth worries

Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:13pm EDT
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* TSX falls 172.63 points, or 1.42 percent, to 11,947.29
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors decline
    * First Quantum sheds 9.4 percent, erasing Tuesday's gains

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
to a near five-month low on Wednesday in a broad selloff, with
resource stocks showing the biggest declines, on mounting
worries about global economic growth and weak U.S. earnings.
    Oil prices also tumbled on demand concerns, and weighed on
oil and gas shares, which dropped 2.6 percent. 
    Investors were disappointed by U.S. quarterly reports from
companies such as Bank of America Corp and Yahoo Inc
    Toronto stocks are down almost 4 percent this year as weak
commodity prices have weighed on resource shares, which make up
about 40 percent of the index.
    "It's just a very skittish market," said Diana Avigdor,
portfolio manager and head of trading at Barometer Capital
Management. "You cannot fight the tape when the selling is for
another reason than fundamentals."
    However, she said the excessive selling could result in a
rebound. "At some point in the next couple of weeks we could see
a violent 'melt-up' because the market is oversold."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 172.63 points, or 1.42 percent, at
11,947.29. The index earlier fell to 11,916.64, its lowest point
since Nov. 19.
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    "We're certainly in some form of correction," said Michael
Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management. "The market
was ahead of itself, and we're taking a definite setback."
    The materials sector had the biggest decline, giving back
3.8 percent due to a more than 7 percent decline in base-metals
miners and a 4.3 percent fall in gold miners. 
    Miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd shed 9.4 percent to
C$15.43, virtually erasing the gains it made the previous day.
    The price of bullion, which recorded its biggest fall ever
on Monday, was up 0.5 percent but did not stem the slide in gold
    Barrick Gold Corp shed 5.6 percent to C$18.17 and
played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the index
     Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, lost
0.8 percent.