April 18, 2011 / 2:44 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 1-month low after S&P's US downgrade

 *TSX down 206.73 points, or 1.5 pct, at 13,592.39
 *All 10 index sectors weaker, led by energy
 *S&P cuts U.S. long term outlook to negative
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, April 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
fell to a one-month low on Monday morning after Standard &
Poor's cut its long-term outlook for the United States to
negative from stable.
 Besides the S&P downgrade, the market was also being
buffeted by weaker oil prices, Greek debt concerns, and China's
decision to raise banks' required reserves.
 Energy stocks were the hardest hit, down 2.5 percent, as
U.S. crude prices slipped below $107 a barrel. [O/R]
 Suncor Energy SU.TO retreated 3.4 percent to C$40.65,
while Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO lost 3 percent to
 The index's materials sector was down 2.2 percent as miners
were hit broadly, despite gold's rally to a record high above
$1,490 an ounce. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 "We seem to be having a culmination of some bad news and as
a result I think investors generally are still taking profits
where they can and going into cash ... or gold ... for the time
being," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co
Investment Cousel.
 Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO fell 1.4 percent to C$50.50,
while diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO dropped 3.8
percent to C$47.93.
 In downgrading its rating on the United States, S&P said it
believes there's a risk U.S. policymakers may not reach
agreement on how to address the country's long-term fiscal
pressures. [ID:nN18195555]
 "People have known that was coming but it's always a shock
when it does happen," Sprung said.
 "Certainly with the budget deficit in the U.S. and on top
of that with the fighting over raising the debt ceiling, I
think it was only prudent for the S&P to give a negative
outlook warning for the U.S. economy here."
 At 10:19 a.m. (1419 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 206.73 points, or
1.5 percent, to 13,592.39, after falling to its lowest level
since March 17. All of the index's 10 main sectors were weaker,
including financials, off 1.1 percent.
 Sprung said disappointing quarterly results from U.S. bank
Citigroup  C.N also contributed to the downtrend.
 Bucking decline, Research In Motion rallied 1.8 percent to
C$52.10. The BlackBerry maker may attempt to top Google Inc's
GOOG.O $900 million bid for Nortel Networks Corp's wireless
technology patents, according to a media report.
 ($1=$0.97 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)

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