*TSX down 130.37 points, or 1.1 pct, at 11,792.67
*Eight of 10 sectors lower; golds fall 3.3 pct (Updates with details, comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell more than 1 percent to a one-week low on Tuesday morning as slower-than-expected Chinese economic growth and a warning on France’s triple-A sovereign credit rating prompted investors to back away from riskier assets.
Oil and base metal prices were down but gold-mining shares were the hardest hit, off 3.3 percent, as the price of bullion looked set for its biggest one-day fall in two weeks. [GOL/]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) lost 3.2 percent to C$46.70, Goldcorp (G.TO) fell 3.6 percent to C$46.34, and Silver Wheaton SLW.TO dropped 5.1 percent to C$30.50.
“The whole metal index is hurting,” said John Kurgan, senior market strategist at MF Global Canada, noting precious metal prices were under added pressure ahead a closely watched vote by the U.S. futures regulator on commodity market speculation. [ID:nN1E79G201]
He said traders were talking about the chance that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission might vote to tighten position limits. “If they vote to reduce position limits perhaps some hedge funds would have to liquidate a number of these gold and silver contracts they hold,” Kurgan said.
At 10:11 a.m. (1411 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 130.37 points, or 1.09 percent, at 11,792.67. Eight of the 10 main index groups were weaker, including energy shares, down 1.3 percent, materials, off 3.2 percent, and financials, 0.5 percent lower.
Investors remained cautious after Moody’s said it may slap a negative outlook on France’s credit rating in the next three months, and data showed China’s annual gross domestic product expanded at its slowest pace since 2009 in the latest quarter. [ID:nN1E79G1VP]
Also hurting confidence, Goldman Sachs (GS.N) reported a quarterly loss for the second time in its history, hurt by declines in the value of investment securities and customer trading assets. [ID:nN1E79G1UJ]
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)