TSX pulled lower as oil, gold prices retreat

Thu Jan 7, 2010 12:37pm EST
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By Claire Sibonney

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.   Continued...

<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>