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By Cameron French
TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index ended lower on Thursday as weak gold and base metals issues kept the market from keeping pace with late-rallying U.S. stocks.
Stocks fell early as investors took a cautious view of a plan by central banks to inject liquidity into global money markets.
But the early losses, led by financials, were partly recouped late in the session, leaving resource-related issues to hold the broader index back.
“With oil being down and gold being down quite a bit, we didn’t really have much of a chance to participate in that rally,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
The S&P/TSX composite index fell 62.13 points, or 0.45 percent, to close at 13,747.25.
Seven of the ten TSX subgroups finished lower, led by a 2.8 percent drop among materials issues, which include gold and base metals miners.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s No. 1 gold miner, fell C$1.54, or 3.8 percent, to C$38.85, yanked down by gold prices that fell to around $791 an ounce from $814.
Thompson Creek Metals TCM.TO was the mining sector’s biggest decliner, falling C$1.87, or 9.9 percent, to C$17.08, after the molybdenum producer cut its production outlook for the second time in two months.
Among individual issues, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) fell C$3.00, or 3.8 percent, to C$76.59, while printer Quebecor World IQW.TO fell 38 Canadian cents, or 16.8 percent, to C$1.88.
Shares of the commercial printer stumbled yet again after shareholders of Dutch group Roto Smeets de Boer RSDB.AS rejected the $341 million purchase of Quebecor’s European business.
Investors appeared to have difficulty making up their minds on the merits of a liquidity plan, announced on Wednesday. The plan would see central banks in North America and Europe pump more money into struggling credit markets to ease a lending crisis sparked by the U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown.
Kinsey said the large intraday swings that have been common in recent weeks would not likely end any time soon.
“It will go up, it will go down, but nobody can make up their mind,” he said. “This credit thing won’t go away, and we’re just going to have to live with it for a while.”
Thinning liquidity could also be playing a role in the volatility, said Irwin Michael of portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
“A lot of institutions are shutting down, and people are thinking about Christmas holidays. There is still some tax-loss selling going on as a number of investors want so square their books,” he said.
Market volume totaled 363.5 million shares valued at C$6.8 billion. Declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,054 to 592.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.06 points, or 0.33 percent, to 13,517.96, while the Nasdaq composite slid 2.65 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,668,49.
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Rob Wilson