* TSX down 25.27 points at 9,220.74
* Gold miners headline early skid (Adds details and comments)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Thursday morning as lower bullion prices pulled down shares of gold miners.
The index’s materials sector dropped 2 percent on the gold miners’ fall. The price of gold declined as a rally in European stocks and sluggish investment and physical demand dented the metal’s appeal as an alternative investment. [ID:nTLG392725] .
The TSX entered the session nearly 24 percent above the five-year low it hit in early March, which some experts felt left it ripe for a pullback.
“The market has had a significant recovery over the past five weeks and you have to go back decades to have a similar type of move,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.
“The economy is showing some signs of stabilization, but that being said, it still is pretty anemic and we are in the midst of the earnings period and there really isn’t going to be a whole lot good news stories in the earnings.”
Chandler said he would not be surprised to see the TSX, which has fallen in four of the past 10 sessions, continue to digest some of the past month’s big move.
The heavily weighted financial index opened higher before easing off and straddling the break-even level after JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) reported better than expected quarterly results. [ID:nN16542451]
At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 25.27 points, or 0.27 percent, at 9,220.74 Just after the open it rose 44 points.
$1=$1.20 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway