January 24, 2012 / 1:23 PM / 6 years ago

TSX drops after 4 days of gains as Greece weighs

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX skidded on Tuesday, ending four days of gains, with its heavyweight materials, energy and financial sectors all dropping in reaction to the latest setback in Greek debt talks, which raised concerns about a messy default for the country.

Among heavyweight stocks on the downside, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) fell 4.7 percent to C$75.86 as investors shrugged off market-beating quarterly results and instead focused on concerns about global economic growth.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) dropped 2.8 percent to C$45.95 and fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) was down 2.2 percent at C$44.90 as the materials group sank 1.7 percent on weaker metals prices.

The Toronto index, which on Monday touched a near 11-week high and flirted with key technical resistance levels, followed global markets lower on Tuesday as investors fretted about the impact of the latest setback in efforts to restructure Greek debt. <MKTS/GLOB>

Euro-zone finance ministers rejected as insufficient an offer made by private creditors to help restructure the debt, sending negotiators back to the drawing board.

“Despite some excellent company earnings, including CN Rail, once again we’re looking at the macro and the macro is the worries about Greece defaulting,” said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy.

Financial shares, down nearly 1 percent, were also caught up in the negative mood. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) fell 0.9 percent to C$53.79, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) dropped 1.1 percent to C$79.30.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) shed 0.4 percent to C$34.10 as the energy sector fell nearly 0.6 percent as oil prices dropped on investor worries that the euro zone’s debt troubles would slow global growth.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the day down 126.46 points, or 1.01 percent, at 12,395.24. Eight of the index’s 10 main subsectors were lower. The utilities and health-care sectors were up 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent respectively.

Editing by Neil Stempleman and Peter Galloway

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