* TSX ends down 29.38 points at 11,716.69
* Six of 10 sectors lower (Updates with details, comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, July 27 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed lower on Tuesday, weighed down by gold and other mining issues and as optimism for solid corporate earnings was undercut by a sharp drop in U.S. consumer confidence.
Gold mining stocks weighed on the resource-heavy index and spearheaded a 2.24 percent fall in the broader materials group as growing investor confidence in the economic recovery dented the metal’s safe-haven appeal. [GOL/]
Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO fell 3.9 percent to C$41.44, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO lost 3.4 percent to C$40.19.
Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities, also pointed to a gold option expiry that will increase volatility in the subsector and which saw U.S. gold futures settle at a three-month low, losing 2 percent on technical selling.
August gold futures GCQ0 settled down $25.10, or 2.1 percent, at $1,158 an ounce.
“Clearly, with gold down about $25 or so, a big mover today is Barrick,” said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds in Toronto.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 29.38 points, or 0.25 percent, at 11,716.69 after a day of choppy trade.
Six of the TSX’s 10 main sectors were lower, including powerhouse energy stocks, which fell after U.S. crude futures turned negative, pressured by a report showing U.S. consumer confidence fell in July. [O/R]
Technology issues were also lower, led down 1.9 percent by heavyweight Research In Motion RIM.TO, which closed 3.6 percent lower at C$55.15.
The United Arab Emirates said on the weekend that RIM’s BlackBerry poses security risks, raising fears of censorship and concerns that other Gulf countries might consider curbing the use of certain applications on the smartphone. [ID:nLDE66O07I]
CGI Group Inc GIBa.TO, Canada’s biggest technology outsourcing and consulting company, fell 4.74 percent to C$15.46 after it posted a rise in quarterly profit but reported weaker than expected revenues and orders that showed its sales in Europe remained sluggish. [ID:nN23151635]
Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO slipped 1.5 percent to C$36.83 after it posted a 21 percent rise in quarterly earnings but cautioned there there wasn’t a “firm basis” for raising its forecast for the second half because of expected stiffer competition and the cost of upgrading smartphone customers to new devices. [ID:nN23152160]
Among the big gainers were financial stocks, which rallied 1.6 percent after two top European banks -- UBS UBSN.VX and Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DEDB.N -- posted results that reassured investors following last week’s regulatory stress tests.
Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO rose 1.8 percent to C$53.40, while Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO gained 1.6 percent to C$51.19.
“Global financials have been reporting some decent numbers over the last few days and the North American financials have had a good beat to them, and Canadians are following suit,” said Latimer.
$1=$1.03 Canadian Additional reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Rob Wilson