June 13, 2008 / 1:09 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks still weak after five-session drop

*TSX has fallen five straight days

*Commodities seen weighing on resource shares

*U.S. CPI data mostly in-line with expectations

TORONTO, June 13 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index remained under pressure on Friday, with key commodities in the red and little support expected from U.S. inflation data.

The Canadian benchmark has dropped the last five trading days, shedding 2.5 percent. It could tack on a sixth loss as the U.S. dollar continued to climb, depressing the price of spot gold and the prospects for gold stocks.

Oil and gas stocks could also slide in the wake of falling crude oil and natural gas futures. Oil was below $136 a barrel in early action, while natural gas was off more than 0.7 percent.

Among materials stocks — which have helped drag the index lower the last few days — First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) may attract attention after Scandinavian Minerals shareholders approved a takeover by the Canadian miner. For details, see: [nWEN6247]

The U.S. data showed consumer prices rose 0.6 percent last month, only slightly more than forecasts. See: [nN12334215]

“There were whispers that the number was actually going to be higher than that — 0.7 or 0.8 — so the fact that it came in at 0.6 isn’t so bad,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The CPI data underline concerns the Federal Reserve has recently voiced over inflation, but offers little hint on the future direction of interest rates in the United States, Canada’s biggest trading partner.

U.S. stock futures were higher, but Ibel noted the TSX has largely ignored U.S. market trends the last few sessions. “We’ll probably see weakness off the start,” he said.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 14,602.59 after shedding 113.93 points, or 0.8 percent, in the previous session. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson)

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