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* TSX down 52.69 points at 13,288.73
* Touches weakest level since Jan. 25
* Nine of 10 sectors lower, energy up (Updates with details, commentary)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, June 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index headed for its seventh straight loss on Wednesday, falling to its lowest level since January as concerns over the state of the global economy intensified and metal prices weakened.
The materials group slipped 1.4 percent as copper and gold prices eased after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech a day earlier depressed market sentiment. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Among the heaviest laggards on the index, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) lost 1.7 percent to C$43.47, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO was down 1.6 percent at C$46.49.
While Bernanke gave a bleak assessment of the U.S. economy, he offered no hints of further U.S. monetary easing.
“In general, the biggest hurdle is the global growth fears,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal. “Most of the data for two or three weeks has been pointing to slower growth; the U.S. is not creating jobs, employment is not picking up and that’s been putting risk appetite back off.”
On the upside, energy issues climbed 0.5 percent, leading the gainers as U.S. crude prices jumped on news that OPEC ministers were unable to agree on a deal to raise output and would leave production policy unchanged. [O/R]
Talisman Energy TLM.TO rose 2.7 percent to C$19.98, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained 1.3 percent to C$39.34.
At 10:38 a.m. (1438 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 52.69 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,230.23. Nine of the 10 main sectors were weaker, including financials, off 0.1 percent. Earlier, the index fell as low as 13,213.08, its weakest level since Jan. 25.
“Some could argue we’re entering oversold conditions,” added Campeau, noting the index surpassed lows hit in May and March, in the aftermath of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
As well, Campeau pointed out the TSX was currently sitting on its 200-day moving average, and its close on Wednesday could set a significant trend in either direction. The index has not closed below the 200-day moving average since last August.
“You don’t want to sit below it,” he said.
Shares of Sino-Forest TRE.TO were up almost 12 percent at C$4.47, as trading continued to be turbulent in the wake of fraud allegations made by short-seller Muddy Waters against the Chinese tree-plantation company. [ID:nN08210464]
Among the heaviest decliners, Research In Motion RIM.TO retreated 0.5 percent to C$36.73, after an analyst downgrade. [ID:nL3E7H81MN]
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)