* TSX falls 79.38 points, or 0.65 percent, to 12,116.59
* Six of 10 index groups lower
* Consumer stocks steady on strong earnings (Updates closing numbers, adds quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished lower for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as weaker oil and gold prices pushed down heavily weighted resource issues.
The price of oil dropped below $75 a barrel, hurt by high U.S. inventories and doubts about economic recovery, and that helped push energy shares down 0.7 percent. [O/R] The index’s other key resource group, materials, sank 1.5 percent as the price of bullion pulled back after its recent runup. [GOL/]
Suncor Energy SU.TO fell 0.2 percent to C$32.84, while Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO dropped 1.5 percent to C$72.73. Barrick Gold ABX.TO shed 1.7 percent to C$45.76.
Global stocks faltered on Thursday due to anemic U.S. jobs data and worries that growth in Europe will slow due to belt-tightening in heavily indebted countries. [MKTS/GLOB] [.N]
“Now that people have had a bit of time to think about it, I would guess there are still deep concerns over what’s happening in Europe,” said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE retreated 79.38 points, or 0.65 percent, to 12,116.59. Six of its 10 main groups were lower.
The index had risen for three straight sessions heading into Thursday, rebounding from a 4.2 rout last week that was spurred by fears that Greece’s debt crisis would spread to other euro zone countries.
Strength in some consumer-related stocks helped to limit the index’s fall. The group was buoyed by strong profits from several companies including Gildan Activewear GIL.TO and Tim Hortons THI.TO. [ID:nN13261938] [ID:nN13267932]
T-shirt maker Gildan climbed 3.3 percent to C$31.20, while ubiquitous coffee shop chain Tim Hortons was up 3.3 percent at C$35.48.
Elsewhere in the market, Penn West Energy Trust PWT_u.TO said it will sell a 45 percent stake in a planned oil sands project to China Investment Corp for C$817 million, the latest in a series of Canadian companies turning to China for cash to develop the massive resource. Penn West rose 3.8 percent to C$20.19.
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway