February 7, 2012 / 10:53 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower as China concerns hit resources

* Energy, materials stocks lead decline

* Meeting on Greek debt deal delayed

* Second straight drop after 5-month high hit last week (Adds details)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended lower on Tuesday as investors nervously awaited progress on a Greek debt deal, while concerns about Chinese demand for commodities hurt energy and mining shares.

The decline was the second in as many sessions for the TSX index after it hit a five-month high on Friday.

“We’re having a bit of a pause here because of what’s happening in Europe,” said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities in Toronto.

“I think that yesterday and today we’ve sort of been quietly waiting for some kind of resolution.”

The S&P/TSX composite index ended the session down 47.43 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,512.42.

The market fell hard early in the day and then clawed back some of the losses on optimism that Greece was close to terms on a 130 billion euro bailout.

But a Greek official said a key meeting of political parties to approve the terms would be delayed until Wednesday, leaving investors on tenterhooks.

Six of the TSX’s 10 subgroups finished lower, with the bulk of the losses in the energy and materials groups after China warned that industrial output growth could weaken this quarter because of the sluggish global economy and Europe’s debt crisis.

Also hurting the energy sector was an unexpected maintenance shutdown at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd’s Horizon oil sands plant in northern Alberta, expected to last two to three weeks.

The company’s shares dropped 4.4 percent to C$38.52, while Encana Corp retreated 1.8 percent to C$19.83.

All told, the energy sector fell 1.23 percent.

The materials group fell by 0.72 percent, led by copper producers, as the metal ended lower in London trading. First Quantum Minerals, which eased 3.4 percent to C$21.87, and Lundin Mining, which fell 2.9 percent to C$5.12.

Even with the decline of the last two sessions, the TSX index is up 4.7 percent so far in 2012.

“To move higher from here you’d need some sort of catalyst, whether it’s Europe or better earnings forecasts or something else,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Among individual movers, Karnalyte Resources fell 10.8 percent to C$8.50 after the company said it was addressing regulatory concerns about its resource estimate for the Wynyard potash project in Saskatchewan.

$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting By Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway

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