TSX skids as golds tumble with bullion prices

Tue Jan 4, 2011 5:36pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished the first trading day of 2011 lower on Tuesday as blue-chip gold miners were hit by slumping bullion prices.

The gold price had its biggest one-day loss since early November, dropping more than 2 percent as profit-taking and hints of an improving global economy diminished safe-haven buying of the precious metal.

Falling gold-mining shares weighed on the index's materials group, which finished down 1.73 percent.

Top producer Barrick Gold fell 2.88 percent to C$51.59, while Goldcorp skidded 3.01 percent to C$44.50. Kinross Gold slid 4.07 percent to end at C$18.14, while Agnico Eagle sank 6.37 percent to finish at C$71.72.

"Today was mostly just people who'd made so much money in the last few months, they wanted to take some profits ... I don't think it was seriously negative in any way," said Douglas Davis, chief executive at Davis-Rea.

The big financial group was the only other decliner among the index's 10 main sectors, dipping 0.21 percent in a mixed performance.

Bank of Nova Scotia slid 1.42 percent to C$56.29 and Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.34 percent to C$52.14. That offset advances by Manulife Financial, which rose 0.7 percent to C$17.27, and Bank of Montreal, which gained 0.31 percent to C$57.66.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 40.91 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,402.31. Early on Tuesday, the TSX hit its highest level since August 2008, before beginning its retreat.   Continued...

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