(Adds details, updates prices)
* TSX down 54.32 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,439.17
* Half of TSX’s 10 main groups lower, 2 fallers for every gainer
TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday as gold miners and other materials stocks weighed with lower gold and other commodity prices, and insider trading charges sunk Amaya shares.
Gold fell sharply after hawkish rate hike comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials boosted the U.S. currency.
The most influential weights on the Canadian index included Barrick Gold Corp, which fell 6.9 percent to C$17.61, and Goldcorp Inc, down 6.1 percent at C$20.31.
Shares in gambling website operator Amaya Inc fell 21.5 percent to C$14.57, after its chief executive was charged with insider trading by Quebec’s securities regulator. The stock had been halted until 9:50.
At 9:59 a.m. EDT (1359 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 54.32 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,439.17.
The energy group retreated 1 percent as oil prices fell after U.S. stock build data reinforced concerns about a global glut. Canadian Natural Resources fell 2.6 percent to C$35.1.
Half of the index’s 10 main groups were in negative territory, although decliners outnumbered advancers by more than 2-to-1.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 3.7 percent.
First Quantum Minerals Ltd lost 6.8 percent to C$7.71 and Teck Resources Ltd fell 5.2 percent to C$10.56, as copper and other metal prices fell.
How soon Canada erases its budget deficit hinges on the extent of economic growth, the country’s prime minister said on Wednesday, a day after his government unveiled a budget that foresees years of shortfalls to boost growth. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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