*TSX down 63.40 points, or 0.54 pct, at 11,785.47
*Seven of 10 sectors weaker, golds sag (Updates with details, comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was lower on Thursday morning as uncertainty built up over whether European leaders could reach a deal on boosting the euro-zone’s rescue fund.
Commodity shares led the fall as oil and metal prices slipped, and gold miners were among the most heavily weighted decliners. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) fell 1.6 percent to C$44.96, Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) dropped 5.4 percent to C$44.80, and Goldcorp (G.TO) was down 1.3 percent to C$44.74.
U.S. data on manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region was encouraging but a deluge of conflicting euro zone headlines dominated market sentiment.
“The problem with the whole situation is you have 17 different countries involved and 100 different people can speak ... what’s scaring everybody is that there’s no central leadership,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
A report in German newspaper Die Welt said the German government does not rule out the possibility of postponing a European Union summit on the crisis planned for this Sunday.
At 11:11 a.m. (1511 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 63.40 points, or 0.54 percent, at 11,785.47. Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were weaker.
Financial were down 0.1 percent but some of the biggest banks were in positive territory. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), up 0.4 percent at C$47.60, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), up 0.3 percent at C$73.58.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) lost 0.7 percent to C$51.39 after announcing it will pay about $1 billion in cash and stock for a majority stake in Colombia’s Banco Colpatria COL.CN, expanding the bank’s footprint in the Latin American country.
In Canadian earnings news, natural gas producer Encana Corp (ECA.TO) dropped 2.6 percent to C$20.02, despite reporting its operating profit doubled in the third quarter. [ID:nL3E7LK1N2]
“They did beat out expectations but everybody knows where oil and natural gas prices have been,” Schwartz said. “They’ve been down in the dumps.”
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)