* TSX closes down 98.67 points, 0.74 percent, at 13,152.00
* Nine of the index’s 10 main groups lower
* Gold prices fall 1 percent (Updates to close, adds details, analyst’s comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index languished in negative territory on Wednesday as sinking gold prices led to a broad retreat.
All but one of the TSX index’s 10 main groups were in the red, with the fall led by the materials sector, which was down 2 percent.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s largest gold miner, dropped 2.36 percent to C$53.47. Goldcorp (G.TO) was not far behind, falling 2.89 percent to C$45.99. The gold miners dropped on a 1 percent fall in bullion prices, which were hurt by profit-taking for a second day after hitting record highs. [GOL/]
The energy group, another index powerhouse, fell 0.98 percent on an unexpectedly large increase in U.S. fuel inventories and a stronger U.S. dollar. [O/R]
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), the country’s No. 1 independent oil producer, slid 2.32 percent to C$42.07, while Canada’s biggest energy company, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), gave back 1.64 percent to finish at C$36.06.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 98.67 points, or 0.74 percent, at 13,152.00.
The index’s financial group was the lone advancer, rising 0.56 percent. Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) gained 3.97 percent to 15.98, while Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was up 1.43 percent at C$73.20.
“What you’re seeing is a little bit of rotation from gold stocks into the financials,” said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager, Van Arbor Asset Management.
Bonterra Energy (BNE.TO) was the biggest net gainer, up C$3.13, or 7.06 percent, at C$47.48. The oil and gas company has climbed more than 12 percent since announcing a dividend on Dec. 2.
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)