January 22, 2010 / 6:11 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower as banks tumble, gold climbs

* S&P/TSX composite down 0.34 percent at 11,430.49

* Financials help drag TSX to six-week low

* Barrick leads gainers with 2.27 percent rise (Adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index took investors on a roller-coaster ride on Friday, as weak financials, reeling from a White House plan to impose tighter restrictions on banks, offset a rebound in the price of gold.

Financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the TSX, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the country’s largest bank, down 1.61 percent at C$53.34, leading the decliners. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) was off 2.02 percent at C$63.40.

U.S. President Barack Obama, looking to advance his agenda after a key Democrat election loss this week, laid out proposals on Thursday to restrict U.S. banks’ financial risk-taking, which he blamed for helping cause the financial crisis.

“I think we’re just going to go through a period of a bunch of uncertainty as we see all this new policy try to be digested,” said Brian Pow, vice-president at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary, referring to Obama’s plan as well as fears that recent bank lending curbs in China could slash demand for commodities and hamper the global recovery.

“From a short-term standpoint we’re starting to get to reasonably oversold conditions, so in the absence of something really concrete happening I would expect investors sometime by next week will try to tune out a lot of this rhetoric,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

At 12:46 p.m. (1746 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 38.66 points or 0.34 percent at 11,430.49 after falling more 1 percent earlier in the session to a six-week low, then briefly bouncing positive in the interim.

Gold miners were up as bullion prices bounced back as the U.S. weakened. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s largest producer, led the index’s gainers with a 2.27 percent rise to C$39.18.

“A lot times you’re going to see when there’s uncertainty people rush back to gold,” said Pow.

Spot gold XAU= hit a one-month low of $1,081.90 and was at $1,095.30 an ounce at shortly before noon, against $1,094.20 late on Thursday.

Gold prices have been under pressure over worries that Obama’s plans could curb investment flows into commodities. [GOL/]

$1=$1.056 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson

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