* TSX ends down 195.46 points, or 1.4 pct, at 13,801.40
* Eight of 10 main sectors weaker
* Oil, gold, base metals all tumble (Updates to close, adds details, comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed sharply lower for a second day on Tuesday, hitting its weakest point in nearly four weeks, as energy and mining shares were battered by a broad commodities selloff.
Energy shares led the way down, dropping 3 percent, as U.S. crude oil futures fell more than $3 a barrel to around $106 a barrel. Oil was hit hard after the International Energy Agency warned high prices could crimp demand and Goldman Sachs said Brent oil, the market price leader, could drop in coming months. [O/R] [ID:nN12116926]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) slid 3.4 percent to C$42.05, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) shed 2.7 percent to C$44.34, and Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS.TO sank 4.3 percent to C$31.02. [O/R]
“Some of the speculative froth may be coming out,” said Craig Wright, Royal Bank of Canada’s chief economist. “But there is still a lot of liquidity sloshing around the system and it’s still looking for yield.”
Wright said that if global growth moderates, then that should translate into more stable commodity prices and take some of the speculative pressure off commodities.
Base-metal miners pulled back 2.9 percent on the back of weaker copper prices as Japan raised the severity of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to the highest level, equal to that of the Chernobyl. [MET/L] [ID:nL3E7FB2TZ]
Teck Resources TCKb.TO tumbled 3.6 percent to C$51.87, while First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) dropped 4.7 percent to C$124.90.
The index’s overall materials sector was down 1.7 percent and was also hit by disappointment over aluminum-maker Alcoa’s (AA.N) results, with its revenue missing forecasts. [ID:nN12176524]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 195.46 points, or 1.4 percent, at 13,801.40, hitting its worst level since March 17.
Eight of the TSX’s 10 main sectors were lower, including financials, which fell nearly 1 percent. The gold sub-sector lost 0.7 percent as the oil-price retreat continued to dim some of gold’s safe-haven attraction. [GOL/]
($1=$0.96 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Scott Haggett in Calgary; editing by Peter Galloway)