April 15, 2013 / 2:29 PM / in 5 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX sinks to 4-month low as gold plunges, China slows

(Adds comment, details)

* TSX falls 1.85 pct, lowest since Dec 4 on commodity sell-off

* Barrick Gold, one of world’s biggest bullion miners, falls 10 pct

* Plunge exacerbated by China growth missing expectations

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, April 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index sank to a four-month low on Monday, weighed down by resource stocks after China notched lower-than-expected first-quarter growth and the price of bullion plunged.

Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s biggest producer of gold, at one point plunged more than 10 percent as the price of the precious metal fell to a 2-year low below $1,400 per ounce.

“Gold has completely lost its value in terms of the stock prices of gold companies,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. “Gold companies used to trade for two or three times net asset value. Those days are gone.”

Goldcorp Inc fell 5.6 percent to C$28.43 and Yamana Gold Inc lost 10.4 percent to C$11.89.

While investors fled for the exits on gold, they retreated from other commodities like copper and oil, too, after China undershot expectations with first-quarter growth of 7.7 percent.

“The prices of these commodities are falling as though China is growing at 3 percent,” Schwartz Said. “It’s a complete overreaction.”

Suncor Energy Inc, Canada’s largest energy company, fell 3.8 percent to C$27.74 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd slipped 3.3 percent to C$30.25.

With resource stocks making up around 40 percent of the weight of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index , the index took the commodity price swoon harder than most, down 228.33 points, or 1.85 percent, at 12,109.26 points.

That marked its lowest level since Dec 4 last year. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by James Dalgleish and Nick Zieminski)

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