CANADA STOCKS-Euro zone, oil drop, push TSX to 5th straight fall

Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:12pm EDT

* TSX ends 24.32 points, or 0.20 percent, lower at 12,232.86
    * Energy shares fall as oil prices falter
    * RIM makes more gains on upbeat subscriber numbers
    * Index pares big early-day loses; gold miners rise

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
for a fifth straight session on Wednesday with energy shares
leading the retreat as oil prices dropped and investors fretted
about renewed tension in the euro zone.
    The resource-laden Toronto index has now given up all the
gains it made after the U.S. Federal Reserve unveiled a major
stimulus program earlier this month that buttressed a similar
move from the European Central Bank.
    "Emotions are driving reactions in the marketplace," said
Brian Pow, a research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital
Partners in Calgary.
    Oil producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd closed
1.3 percent lower at C$30.53, and Suncor Energy Inc,
Canada's No. 1 integrated oil producer and refiner, was down 0.7
percent at C$32.01. 
    Crude prices also wiped away the gains they made after the
Fed and ECB stimulus measures, falling more than 1 percent
before paring some of those losses. 
    Rising popular opposition in Greece and Spain to measures
aimed at resolving the euro zone's debt crisis unnerved
investors already worried about weak global economic growth.
 
    "It'll probably take some pretty drastic adjustments over in
Europe to stop the bouncing around," Pow said.
    Market anxiety mounted after Greek police fired teargas at
youths hurling petrol bombs and stones as tens of thousands took
to the streets in Athens in Greece's biggest anti-austerity
demonstration in months. 
    The demonstration followed violent protests in Spain and
reignited worries that the euro zone debt crisis is deepening
despite efforts by central banks to reflate economies.
    "Markets have a very tough time dealing with uncertainty,
and in a word, that is what's dominated this marketplace, the
uncertainty of the outlook ahead," said Peter Chandler, a senior
vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management based in Waterloo,
Ontario.
    The benchmark Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite
index lost 24.32 points, or 0.20 percent, to close at
12,232.86, its lowest settle since September 12. 
    
    TAKE YOUR POSITIONS
    Canaccord's Chandler suggested the fall was a natural
reaction to a lack of catalysts.
    "The market is stuck in a trading range, it's at the high
end of its range now and in the absence of more meaningful
economic developments or news the market stays in a trading
range," he said.
    One of the big bright spots was a 5.8 percent rise to C$6.88
in Research In Motion Ltd shares, which put in a second
day of solid gains after the struggling BlackBerry maker
surprised investors with upbeat subscriber numbers. RIM reports
quarterly results after the market close on Thursday.
 
    Gold miners were also surprisingly buoyant despite a fall in
bullion prices to an almost two-week low.
    The world's biggest producer of the precious metal, Barrick
Gold Corp, ending up 0.1 percent at C$40.31 after
dropping in early trade. Goldcorp had the biggest
positive impact on the index, up 1 percent at C$44.31.
    "People with a longer-term view are trying to look through
that (lack of market confidence) and take advantage of some of
the opportunities as stocks come off," said Acumen's Pow,
pointing to financial stocks in mortgage and insurance, and
discounted oil services shares.
    Canadian shares are expected to make further gains this year
and into the middle of 2013, a Reuters poll of market
strategists released on Wednesday showed, as the recent central
bank stimulus is expected to lift lagging resource stocks.
 
    Shares in private equity company Onex Corp gained
0.3 percent to C$38.20, reversing early losses, after it said it
would buy German plastics machinery maker KraussMaffei AG for
568 million euros ($736 million). 
    Talisman Energy Inc shares dipped 0.3 percent to
C$13.22 even though a company executive said Talisman will have
new crude oil and condensate production coming online in Vietnam
and Papua New Guinea in the next two years to meet growing
demand in Asia. 
    Base metal miner Lundin Mining Corp fell 3.4
percent to C$4.79 after it said it will not exercise its option
to buy a stake in the Touro copper mine in northern Spain as it
sees insufficient returns from the project.
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