March 22, 2010 / 2:34 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX pulled down by weak commodity prices

* TSX down 73.41 points, 0.61 percent, at 11,874.57

* Energy, materials sectors lead index lower

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell for a third consecutive session on Monday as easing prices for oil and other key resources pressured its heavily weighted energy and resource components.

Natural gas major EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) declined 2.2 percent to C$30.68, while Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), Canada’s largest oil company, retreated 0.5 percent to C$31.12.

U.S. crude oil futures fell more than $2 as the safe-haven U.S. dollar strengthened against the euro amid concerns about debt-stricken Greece, while natural gas futures also lost ground, sending the energy sector down 1.3 percent. [O/R]

The market’s mood was also affected by more losses on European stock markets, which were weighed down by banks and commodity stocks. As well, most of Asian markets were down as investors fretted over further monetary tightening in emerging markets after a surprise interest rate hike by India last week.

At 10:10 a.m. (1410 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 73.41 points, or 0.61 percent, at 11,874.57.

“The market’s opened a little on the negative side with the spillover effect from the European and Asian markets but they’re trying to right themselves here off our lows,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.

“It’s early in the day but we’ll see which way we can go from here.”

Prices for gold and copper slipped more than 1 percent, dragging the index’s materials sector down 1.3 percent. [GOL/] [MET/L]

Shares of Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) fell 1.8 percent to C$39.43, while Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) dropped 1.6 percent at C$38.82.

Base metal miners Teck Resources TCKb.TO lost 1.8 percent to C$39.33 and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) fell 2.8 percent to C$86.78.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney, editing by Peter Galloway

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