June 7, 2010 / 9:29 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as uncertainty hits energy, banks

* TSX falls 64.87 points, or 0.56 pct, to 11,504.74

* Energy, financials, base metals fall

* Gold stocks rally more than 3 percent

* RIM sinks 5 percent (Adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, June 7 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended at its lowest level more than two weeks on Monday as energy and financial shares tumbled on economic uncertainty, offsetting gains by surging gold issues.

Among the biggest decliners were Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), down almost 2 percent at C$52.48, and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), off more than 2 percent at C$31.79.

“The overhang is the uncertainty in Europe,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities.

With ongoing fears about euro zone debt contagion causing investors to flee to safe-haven assets, gold rallied to less than $10 below its record high. [GOL/]

Gold-mining stocks soared 3.4 percent with Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s largest producer, up 4.3 percent at C$45.81, and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) 4.7 percent higher at C$46.87.

“Gold is having a kick-ass day, which kind of points to a bit more uncertainty,” Ibel said.

“To me it’s a risk parameter too, so anywhere you see gold spike as much as it does in one day on not a whole lot of news, it makes me wonder if there is anything else we should be reading into it.”

Meanwhile, copper tumbled to eight-month lows, sending the base metals subsector down more than 4 percent.

Teck Resources TCKb.TO, Canada’s biggest base metals producer, slumped almost 5 percent to C$31.14, while First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) dropped almost 6 percent to C$51.41.

“In the materials space, you’re seeing some more rotation from more cyclical commodities like copper into more safe-havens like gold,” said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver.

Zohny noted that non-cyclical, or “defensive”, stocks such as consumer staples, up 1.2 percent, are also benefiting. “I think that’s a sign of the uncertainty in the economy,” he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 64.87 points, or 0.56 percent, at 11,504.74, its lowest level since May 20, after treading higher for most of the day.

Seven of the 10 main groups were lower, including the economically sensitive industrials sector, down 2.2 percent.

“There are still definitely some bumps in the road out there in terms of the economic recovery,” Ibel said.

“You’re still not seeing consumer spending pick up at the pace you want in the United States and you’re still not seeing the job growth as you want in the United States,” he said, referring to Friday’s disappointing U.S. jobs data for May.

Also dragging on the index were shares of Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO, which fell 5 percent to C$60.04 after an analyst said North American sales of the BlackBerry smartphone slid in May.

In a double-whammy to the stock, the report came out the same day that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) unveiled its latest iPhone, which is starting to make deep inroads into BlackBerry’s once secure corporate market. [ID:nN07197833]

Ibel pointed out that volume was quite low during Monday’s rocky trading session and that traders were looking for direction from data coming out later in the week, such as U.S. wholesale inventories, jobless claims and retail sales data.

$1=$1.06 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway

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