* TSX down 84.18 points, or 0.67 pct, at 12,435.33
* Miners, energy firms sink with commodity prices
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Oct 31 Canadian stocks weakened on
Monday, at one point falling more than 1 percent, as natural
resource companies followed commodity prices lower after
Japan's intervention in currency markets.
Commodity prices were hit by a stronger U.S. dollar, which
jumped after the Japan intervened to weaken the yen. while
returning doubts over the EU's plan to solve the debt crisis
added to the cautious tone.
Seven of the Canadian market's 10 main sectors were lower,
led by a 1.4 percent drop in materials, which includes base
metal and gold miners.
"They all seem to move in a pack and today the pack is
going south," said David Baskin, portfolio manager and
president of Baskin Financial Services.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index , which briefly fell more than 1 percent, was down
84.18 points, or 0.67 percent, at 12,435.33 by late morning.
The Potash Corp was the biggest laggard, falling
2.8 percent to C$48.35. First Quantum Minerals , down 5
percent to C$21.14, was another big drag.
Base metals such as copper slipped as the dollar rose and
enthusiasm for Europe's debt deal gave way to the view that the
region's economic problems are far from over.
Barrick Gold , down 1.2 percent to C$49.87, was
also a big weight. Fresh on the heels of its best weekly
performance in a month, gold fell more than 1 percent as a
spike in the U.S. dollar spooked precious metals investors.
Investors are also concerned this week's G20 economic
summit in France may disappoint by not offering more concrete
news on the European debt rescue plan hatched last week.
Canadian banking shares were hurt by "lack of details
coming out of Europe on how they're going to execute this
plan," Baskin said.
Canadian financial stocks were down 0.4 percent. Royal Bank
of Canada led the sector down, falling 0.5 percent to
C$49.37. Insurer Manulife Financial also dropped 1.7
percent to C$13.45.
Telecom stocks, a traditional safe-haven play, were up 0.8
percent. BCE Inc rose 0.9 percent to C$39.58, and
Rogers Communications gained 1.2 percent to C$36.71.
In other company news, Grande Cache Coal shares
jumped 66 percent after it agreed to be acquired by Winsway
Coking Coal and Marubeni Corp in a C$1 billion ($1 billion)
deal fueled by demand from China's steelmakers.
TMX Group shares rose more than 2 percent after the
operator of Canada's largest stock market threw its support
behind a C$3.8 billion takeover offer from a group of banks and
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd shares rose only
slightly after activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital
Management took a major stake in Canada's second largest