CANADA STOCKS-Stimulus fears drag TSX to one-week low

Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:40pm EDT

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* TSX falls 97.03 points, or 0.77 percent, to 12,573.08
    * All of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Gold-mining stocks lose 3.5 percent as bullion eases
    * Sears Canada down after reporting drop in revenue

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
dropped to its lowest in more than a week on Wednesday as a U.S.
Federal Reserve report gave few new signals on the central
bank's plans for its monetary stimulus program.
    Every major sector on the index ended in the red, and
gold-mining shares showed one of the sharpest declines on the
resource-heavy index, falling with bullion prices. 
    The market brushed aside figures showing U.S. home resales
climbed in July to their highest level in more than three
years, and trained its sights instead on the
midafternoon release of minutes from the Fed's last policy
meeting.
    The minutes showed that a few Fed officials thought last
month that it would soon be time to slow the pace of the central
bank's stimulative bond-buying program "somewhat", but others
counseled patience. 
    "Investors are now worried about what will be cut back
first: will it be mortgage-backed securities or the federal
bonds?" said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.
    "You can't be living on these very low interest rates as
you're going to have asset bubbles," he added. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 97.03 points, or 0.77 percent, at
12,573.08 after falling as low as 12,542.84, its lowest level
since Aug. 12.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
slipped 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's
biggest lender, gave back 0.2 percent to C$64.58; Bank of Nova
Scotia was down 0.2 percent at C$58.28.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, lost 3
percent, with gold producers falling 3.5 percent.
    Goldcorp Inc fell 4.1 percent to C$31.55, and Barrick
Gold Corp stumbled 3.1 percent to C$19.96.
    In company news, Sears Canada Inc reported a
decline in quarterly revenue and said it plans to cut 245 jobs.
The stock fell 1.8 percent to C$12.05.
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