* TSX down 34.68 points at 12,176.84.
* Energy, materials drag index lower
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Friday morning, pushed lower by a dip in commodity prices as investor concern about the outlook for global demand hit resource shares.
Oil prices fell below $85 a barrel as doubts over U.S. crude demand re-emerged and the U.S. dollar strengthened, making imports more expensive for emerging economies where consumption is surging. [O/R]
The energy sector was set back 0.9 percent as Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), Canada’s biggest oil company, dropped 1.5 percent to C$34.28 and EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), the country’s largest natural gas producer, fell 1.1 percent to C$31.60.
Athabasca Oil Sands Corp (ATH.TO) was off 0.6 percent at C$14.52, continuing a slide that began when it went public at C$18 a share a week ago. Some portfolio managers attribute the decline to an overhang in stock issued before it debuted on the TSX.
“There is a huge overhang of stock from people who had bought Athabasca Oil Sands as a private company,” said a portfolio manager who did not participate in the IPO.
“Those people have been there for a few years, so they are likely sellers.”
The materials sector was down 0.6 percent as gold eased against a stronger greenback and copper prices were pressured by concerns of China’s economy overheating. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest gold producer, slipped 0.4 percent to C$39.79, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO, Canada’s biggest miner of base metals, lost 1.9 percent to C$43.86.
At 10:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 34.68 points, or 0.28 percent, at 12,176.84.
“It’s a slightly weaker opening across the board here,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
“You had a pretty good day in the markets yesterday, so it’s just a little bit of a giveback here.” (Additional reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Rob Wilson)