* TSX down 55.91 pts, or 0.5 pct, at 12,118.45
* Gold miners fall as bullion hits one-week low
* U.S. jobless, housing data limits losses (Adds details)
TORONTO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was lower on Thursday morning, but well off its 1 percent fall shortly after the open, as gold-mining shares fell along with bullion prices after weak European bond sales sparked fears of a worsening euro-zone debt crisis.
In sales on Thursday, 10-year Spanish bond yields approached the precarious 7 percent mark, their highest level since 1997. A French bond auction also saw high yields. [MKTS/GLOB]
The heavily weighted materials sector led the Toronto index’s losses, down 1.3 percent, mostly due to gold-mining stocks, which fell 1.4 percent as bullion prices continued their slide, hitting a one-week low. [GOL/]
Goldcorp (G.TO), down 1.5 percent at C$52.71, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), down 1.6 percent at C$51.82, led the sector’s losses.
Solid U.S. economic data helped limit the index’s losses. U.S. claims for jobless benefits hit a seven-month low last week, while permits for home construction rebounded strongly last month, bolstering views the economy was gaining traction. [ID:nN1E7AG0BT]
“If we didn’t have that outstanding problem in Europe we’d actually see the (index rising),” said Robert Kavcic, economist at BMO Capital Markets.
At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 55.91 points, or 0.5 percent, at 12,118.45. Shortly after the open it fell as much as 121.39 points, or 1 percent, to 12,052.25.
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)