January 7, 2010 / 1:31 PM / 8 years ago

TSX pulled lower as oil, gold prices retreat

<p>People walk by a Bay Street sign inside the financial district in Toronto in this October 10, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Thursday as a drop in oil, gold and other commodity prices knocked resource issues lower, ending a five-session stretch of gains for the market.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, down 2.6 percent to C$74.25, and Suncor Energy Inc, off 1.12 percent, played the biggest roles of any two stocks in leading the market lower.

Oil slipped from a 15-month high a day earlier, a move traders attributed to signs of tighter monetary policy in China, which sparked concerns about demand for commodities.

“We have a little profit-taking across the board here,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.

“The market has had a good tone to it the past three days. I don’t think it’s any indication of how we’re going to go the next few days.”

At 11:18 a.m. (1618 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 79.10 points, or 0.66 percent, at 11,866.12. The index hit a 15-month high on Wednesday.

Gold stocks also weighed on the index as bullion prices retreated. Goldcorp Inc fell 0.88 percent to C$43.00 while Barrick Gold dropped 1.41 percent to C$42.57.

Goldcorp said on Thursday it will spend $513 million to buy Xstrata’s 70 percent interest in the El Morro copper-gold project in Chile, foiling Barrick’s plans to acquire the stake.

EYE ON JOBS REPORT

The financial sector was also weaker with heavyweights Bank of Nova Scotia down 1.3 percent at C$46.90 and Royal Bank of Canada off 0.63 percent at C$54.99.

“People who have been buying the market in the last few days have been pulling in their reins and seeing what levels the market will drift to,” Latimer said.

The drop in Toronto stocks mirrored losses in U.S. markets, which fell after the government reported a slight increase in initial jobless claims.

But Latimer said there are still widespread expectations that monthly North American jobs data, due on Friday, will be positive, which would extend the market’s bullish trend since the start of the year.

Among the TSX’s gainers, fertilizer major Potash Corp rose 1.19 percent to C$128.74 while rail and aerospace giant Bombardier Inc was up 2.4 percent at C$5.11.

Teck Resources Ltd also gained 0.79 percent at C$40.79 after Scotia Capital raised the miner’s price target.

($1=$1.035 Canadian)

Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Rob Wilson

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