* Ends down 211.57 points, or 1.5 pct, at 13,996.86
* Nine of 10 main sectors weaker
* Oil, gold, copper prices fall (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, April 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed sharply lower on Monday, falling more than 200 points in a broad decline led by weaker energy and materials issues, as commodity prices retreated from recent highs.
Gold miners skidded 2.7 percent after bullion eased from a record high hit earlier in the day as a $3 drop in oil prices dimmed some of gold’s safe-haven attraction. [GOL/]
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) shed 2.7 percent to C$50.66, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) skidded 2.1 percent to C$51.06 and Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) slid 1.8 percent to C$62.67.
Energy shares were down 2.6 percent as U.S. crude fell below $110 a barrel on prospects of a Libyan peace deal. [O/R]
“It’s been the energy and materials sectors that have done the damage and that’s mirrored the pretty sharp pullback in crude oil and the pullback in spot gold,” said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) retreated 2.6 percent to C$43.51, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) plunged 3.6 percent to C$45.56 and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) sank 3.1 percent to C$51.03..
“Going back over the last week I’ve heard so many predictions that crude oil was on its way to $120 and I just don’t see that short term,” said John Kurgan, senior market strategist at commodity futures brokerage Lind-Waldock Canada.
“Maybe longer term it’s going to work its way back up there, but I think a lot of the funds that were pushing this thing higher are probably taking some profits here.”
Base metal miners also tumbled, falling 2.1 percent as copper pulled back from five-week highs on news of another strong earthquake in Japan. [MET/L]
Teck Resources TCKb.TO was down almost 2 percent to C$53.83.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 211.57 points, or 1.49 percent, at 13,996.86. Nine of its 10 main sectors were lower, including financials, down 0.6 percent. Consumer staples rose 0.1 percent.
A late-afternoon slide of nearly 2 percent to 13,933.06 pushed the TSX below significant support at the 50-day moving average just below 14,000, but the index managed to rebound slightly. The next support level in play, said Smith, is the March 29 low around 13,800.
Bucking the trend, TimberWest Forest Corp TWF_u.TO soared 19 percent to C$6.46 after two pension funds reached an agreement to buy the timber and land management company valued at C$1.03 billion, including debt. [ID:nL3E7FB24]
Investors were also cautiously awaiting the start of U.S. earnings season with Alcoa reporting after the bell. The Bank of Canada will make a policy announcement on Tuesday but is expected to hold interest rates steady.
($1=$0.96 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney)