CANADA STOCKS-Miners lead TSX lower after France downgraded

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:16am EST

* TSX down 20.18 points, or 0.17 percent, at 12,019.52
    * Materials shares lead decline
    * RIM up nearly 4 percent on analyst upgrade

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
lower on Tuesday, led down by shares of miners and other
resource companies as a downgrade of France's credit rating
weighed on investor sentiment.
    Moody's stripped France of its triple-A sovereign credit
rating, citing an uncertain fiscal outlook and deteriorating
economy. 
    "It reinforces the point that Europe has not solved its
problems. The bad news continues," said Gavin Graham, president
of Graham Investment Strategy.
    "The growth oriented sectors - whether it is energy,
resources, industrials - are all getting thumped because people
are worried about the outlook for global growth."
    At midmorning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 20.18 points, or 0.17
percent, at 12,019.52.
    The index's materials sector was down 0.42 percent, leading
the decline. Goldcorp Inc fell 0.96 percent to C$40.22
and fellow miner Barrick Gold Corp declined 0.56
percent to C$34.
    Energy stocks slipped 0.22 percent, tracking lower oil
prices. Cenovus Energy Inc fell 1.21 percent to
C$32.59, and Suncor Energy Inc shed 0.37 percent to
C$32.47.
    Brent crude was down 70 cents at $111.30 per barrel,
as ample supplies outweighed worries over violence in the Middle
East. 
    Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.64 percent at C$56.89,
lifting the financial sector. Financials, up 0.13 percent,
played the biggest role of any sector in keeping the market from
falling further.
    BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd also
supported the market, rising 3.96 percent to C$9.97. The stock
gained after Jefferies upgraded the company ahead of the launch
of RIM's BlackBerry 10 devices at the end of January.
 
    Market moves were limited with many traders and investors
awaiting a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
at midday that may offer clues about the Fed's intentions on
more monetary stimulus.
    "People are trying to get a handle on the outlook for 2013,"
Graham said. Bernanke's speech can give us a sense of how the
U.S. economy is doing, he added.
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