CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as banks drop ahead of U.S. election

Mon Nov 5, 2012 3:28pm EST

* TSX falls 24.23 points, or 0.20 percent, to 12,356.18
    * Market holds to narrow range ahead of U.S. elections
    * Silver Wheaton weaker after results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
declined on Monday, weighed down by its financial and energy
sectors, but the market traded in a narrow range as many traders
limited their bets due to the uncertain outcome of Tuesday's
U.S. presidential election.
    Both candidates, President Barack Obama and Republican
challenger Mitt Romney, were zipping across swing states on
their final day of campaigning. Polls show the election will be
close. 
    "What we have in front of us is the U.S. election. The
result is going to dictate which way the market will go over the
next six months," said Philip Petursson, a managing director at
Manulife Asset Management's portfolio advisory group.
    "The markets are on hold until they see the outcome."
    Petursson said there could be a relief rally for both U.S.
and Canadian markets no matter who the winner is as some
uncertainty about economic policy will be removed.
    At midafternoon, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 24.23 points, or 0.20
percent, at 12,356.18. At one point the index hit 12,347.14, its
lowest level since Tuesday.
    The heavyweight financial and energy subgroups, down 0.31
percent and 0.34 percent respectively, led the index lower. The
two sectors form more than half of its weight.
    Big decliners included Royal Bank of Canada, down
0.56 percent C$57.24, and Bank of Nova Scotia, which
fell 0.57 percent to C$54.35.
    Oil and gas producers also slipped even as oil prices held
steady above $105 a barrel. 
    Penn West Petroleum Ltd, down 4.05 percent at
C$11.62, was one of the leading decliners. The stock fell after
several analysts cut their share-price targets on the oil and
gas producer. On Friday, the company reported a third-quarter
loss and cut its production forecast. 
    Suncor Energy also dragged on the sector, falling
0.89 percent at C$34.34.
    Other stocks leading the market lower included Silver
Wheaton Corp, which dropped 1.67 percent to C$38.79
after it said its third-quarter profit fell 11
percent. 
    Stocks helping to offset the decline included Turquoise Hill
Resources Ltd, owner of the big Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold
mine in Mongolia. The company signed a long-awaited power supply
deal with China, putting it on track to begin commercial
production in the first half of next year. 
    Shares of Turquoise Hill, controlled by Rio Tinto, rose 11
percent to C$8.96.
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