January 20, 2010 / 10:37 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX knocked down by China jitters, commodities

* TSX falls 0.71 percent to end at 11,679.32

* Mining, energy issues lead slide

* Worries arise about bank lending curbs in China (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index retreated broadly on Wednesday as commodity prices tumbled on fears that bank lending curbs in China could slash demand, while U.S. earnings reports undermined confidence.

The lending restrictions in China triggered concern that demand in China, the world economy’s main source of growth, could slow as authorities tighten policy. [ID:nTOE60J09N]

That pulled down prices for oil, gold and other Canadian commodities. Prices were also weighed down by a stronger greenback, which was seen pressuring demand for dollar-priced commodities. Gold fell more than 2 percent to hit a two-week low, while oil slipped below $78 a barrel.

“We’ve seen another surge in the U.S. dollar and that’s really impacted commodity prices,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The top two drags on the index were Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), down 2.96 percent at C$39.70, followed by Goldcorp (G.TO), down 3.8 percent at C$40.02.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) dropped 0.87 percent to C$36.61.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 84.10 points, or 0.71 percent, at 11,679.32. Seven of its 10 main groups were lower.

Earlier, the index fell as low as 11,581.64, partly on disappointment with IBM’s 2010 outlook, released late on Tuesday, which investors viewed as pointing to a slowdown in profit growth. [ID:nSGE60J0I7]

The S&P/TSX composite, which has rallied since March on economic recovery hopes, is now taking direction from waves of earnings reports and corporate financial forecasts, mostly from the United States so far.

“They’re looking for really bullish outlooks, which don’t seem to be coming forth,” Picardo said.

The index’s financial sector was down 0.88 percent after quarterly results from several large U.S. banks increased uneasiness about the health of the financial services industry.

Shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Canada’s third largest bank, fell 0.73 percent to C$45.95.

In economic news, the Canadian recovery remained choppy in the fourth quarter, according to data that revealed a lack of inflationary pressure in December and a still-struggling manufacturing sector in November. [ID:nN20140376]

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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