September 6, 2011 / 9:09 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits one-week low on euro zone debt fears

 * TSX down 83.87 points, or 0.67 percent, at 12,518.54
 * Eight of 10 sectors weaker; energy, banks drag
 * Gold miners partly offset losses
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index fell to a one-week low on Tuesday, tracking U.S. and world stocks, as concern mounted that the euro zone’s worsening debt crisis will hurt the global economy.
 Nervous investors channeled cash into less risky assets as doubts resurfaced over the political will of Italy and Greece to push through tough budget and debt measures demanded by other euro zone members, while Germany hardened its stand against giving them more aid. [ID:nL5E7K61RE]
 The sell-off followed a 4 percent slide in European equities on Monday, when North American markets were closed for the Labor Day holiday.
 “All eyes are on Europe,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver. “Investors are getting seriously concerned about the possibility of not just a U.S. recession but a global recession.”
 Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which showed zero jobs growth, also continued to hurt investor confidence even after data on Tuesday showed U.S. services sector growth picked up in August. [.N]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session down 83.87 points, or 0.67 percent, at 12,518.54. Earlier it fell to 12,355.92, its weakest point since Aug. 29.
 The sell-off was broad, with eight of the 10 main groups on the TSX trending lower. Energy and bank shares weighed most heavily, down 1.8 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was the top decliner, falling 2.4 percent to C$29.28. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) lost 1.5 percent to C$48.22, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) was down 1.7 percent at C$52.23.
 Helping to offset losses were shares of gold miners, which rose 1.5 percent and helped lift the broader materials sector into positive territory.
 The price of the safe-haven metal jumped to a record high on Tuesday after Switzerland linked its currency to the euro in an effort to curb franc strength. [GOL/]
 “(Gold stocks) have been holding up really well in terms of a hedge against what’s happening in the broad global economy,” said Picardo.
 Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), up 2.3 percent at C$53.15, was the heaviest advancer on the TSX.
 Also supporting the index was Research In Motion RIM.TO, which rose 3.5 percent to C$30.63 after an activist shareholder said it wants the struggling BlackBerry maker to consider selling itself or spinning off its patent portfolio. [ID:nN1E7850LG]  (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)                  

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