* TSX falls 0.17 percent to 13,805.55
* Seven of 10 main sectors fall
* U.S. Midwest business activity, consumer data soft (Adds details)
TORONTO, May 31 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index unwound early gains on Tuesday, pressured by soft U.S. economic data and retreating gold prices, and as Research In Motion weighed on the broader market.
Optimism over Greece’s bailout prospects stoked early gains, taking the index to its firmest level in four weeks as nearly all sectors pushed higher.
But the gains quickly evaporated as two pieces of data underscored the tepid recovery in the United States. Business activity in the U.S. Midwest grew much less than expected in May and consumers turned more pessimistic as well, reports showed on Tuesday. [ID:nN9E7G401Z] [ID:nN9E7G401Y]
Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services, said the U.S. data should not have been a surprise, and that profits were probably also being booked after the TSX’s latest four-day rise.
He said the U.S. data was in line with other figures that have been soft, partly because of supply chain disruptions from Japan following the earthquake, and as higher gasoline prices hit consumer confidence.
At 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 24.11 points, or 0.17 percent, at 13,805.55. Seven of the index’s 10 main sectors were lower, including the weighty materials group, off 0.55 percent.
The materials sector, home to gold issues, was pressured by retreating bullion prices after a report that Germany could smooth the way for Greece to get a bailout. That encouraged investors to seek out riskier assets. [ID:nLDE74U0YM]
Top decliners included Goldcorp (G.TO), down 1.16 percent to C$48.48, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) skidded 0.8 percent to C$46.06.
The infotech group slid 0.4 percent as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO fell nearly 3 percent to C$41.97, after mobile phone maker Nokia slashed its sales and profit outlook, and scrapped forecasts for 2011 due to tumbling prices and intense competition from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Google Inc (GOOG.O) in the smartphone sector. [ID:nLDE74U1CO]
“Investors are fairly or unfairly making the link that if Nokia is not competing, then Research In Motion is also going to have trouble,” said Schwartz.
“Certainly, the numbers show it’s really a two horse race. It’s iPhone and Android, and Research In Motion is losing market share hand over fist.” (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)