October 21, 2009 / 9:10 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX slides as financials fall on US report

* TSX falls 0.83 percent to 11,442.02

* Bank, insurers drop with U.S. financials after downgrade

* Gold shares reverse despite firmer gold price

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index slid hard late in the day on Wednesday as bank and insurance shares fell on a U.S. analyst’s report and as profit-taking hit gold-mining shares despite higher gold prices.

Banks and insurers in Toronto tracked U.S. financial stocks, which were hit by a late-day sell-off after an influential analyst recommended selling Wells Fargo stock. [ID:nWNAB2127]

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) led all decliners, dropping 1.65 percent to C$64.20, followed by Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), off 2.5 percent at C$21.80.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 96.10 points, or 0.83 percent, at 11,442.02, its first significant drop in a week.

The main index has traded without much conviction recently as investors have tried to reconcile mixed earnings reports and economic indicators from Canada and the United States, a stronger Canadian dollar, and commodity prices that have pushed higher. The TSX is up 53 percent since March.

“One of the interesting things we discuss around here is the probability of a correction,” said Philip Petursson, director of institutional equities, for MFC Global Investment Management.

“We’re not trading at excessive levels, we’re trading below the historical average on a forward P/E basis, so overall investors are becoming more comfortable with the fact that markets are trending in the right direction,” Petursson said.

“While we see perhaps a 2 percent dip every so often, it’s bought back up within a day or two.”

Gold-mining shares were up early in the session, but some big names fell even though the price of the precious metal rose above $1,055 per ounce. [GOL/]

Kinross Gold (K.TO) fell 1.9 percent to C$23.19, while Goldcorp (G.TO) lost 1.2 percent to C$43.07. But Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which led all notable advancers at one point, managed to stay in positive territory, up 0.48 percent at C$39.85.

Oil and gas shares slipped even as the price of crude jumped nearly 3 percent to settle above $81 a barrel, its highest close in more than a year. [O/R]

Suncor (SU.TO) dropped 0.48 percent to C$39.68.

$1=$1.04 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway

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