* TSX falls 18.53 points, or 0.15 percent, to 12,738.82
* Six of 10 main index sectors advance
* BlackBerry shares fall 4 percent after analyst downgrade
By John Tilak
TORONTO, March 25 Canada's main stock index fell
to 1-1/2 week low on Monday as a eurozone bailout deal appeared
to defuse the Cyprus debt crisis and took the safe-haven shine
off bullion prices, sending gold-mining shares lower.
The market was further weakened by a decline in shares of
BlackBerry after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the
stock, citing a disappointing U.S. launch for the smartphone
maker's new touchscreen device.
Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders
to shut down its second-largest bank and inflict heavy losses on
uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians, in return for
a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout.
The move is expected to prevent a default and banking
meltdown on the island.
"Any closure in a situation like this is welcome," said
Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group,
at Manulife Asset Management. "It provides reassurance that
deals are getting done."
However, the weakness in gold shares pulled the Toronto
Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index down 18.53
points, or 0.15 percent, to 12,738.82. The index touched
12,734.35, its lowest point since March 14. Six of the 10 main
sectors on the index were higher.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was down
1.3 percent, with gold stocks slipping 1.8 percent. The price of
the precious metal slumped to a 10-week low as investor appetite
for safe haven assets fell sharply after the Cyprus deal.
"I'm not a gold bull," Petursson said. "Gold today has
priced in a lot of inflation and a lot of risk that may not
materialize in the market over the near term."
"We can see more downside than upside," he added.
Goldcorp Inc lost 2 percent to C$33.64, and Barrick
Gold Corp fell 1.3 percent to C$29.62. The index's gold
sector is down about 16 percent since the start of the year.
BlackBerry dropped 4 percent to C$14.59, causing a 1.2
percent decline in the information technology sector.
Encouraged by the Cyprus deal, financials, the index's
weightiest sector, advanced 0.2 percent, with Toronto-Dominion
Bank climbing 0.4 percent to C$84.32.