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TSX Edges Down On Commodities -- Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks closed lower Monday, as concerns of eurozone sovereign debt resurfaced with the G20 group insisting on lifting the eurozone rescue fund before considering any further increase in resources for the International Monetary Fund. The decline was led by commodity stocks, after G20 officials cautioned about the risks of high crude prices for global growth.

Meanwhile, remarks by Moody's Investors Service that a Greek default "remains high" also weighed on trader sentiment. There was some cheer after the German Bundestag approved euro 130 billion rescue package for Greece by international creditors.

Toronto's main index closed Monday at 12,700.38, down 25.39 points or 0.20 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 12,723.18 and a low of 12,624.10.

The TSX Venture Index closed at 1,679.50, down 10.02 points or 0.59 percent. The index opened at 1,695.88 compared to its previous close of 1,689.52.

Most major components of the S&P/TSX Index declined, led by the Energy Index and the Diversified Materials Index. Among the gainers were the Financial Index and the Health Care Index.

Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for April delivery, dropped $1.21 or 1.1 percent to close at $108.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday.

The Energy Index plunged 1.20 percent, with Petrominerales (PMG.TO) slipping 19.62 percent after providing details on year-end reserves and operational updates.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) shed 2.19 percent, while Canacol Energy Ltd. (CNE.TO) dropped 5.71 percent. Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) surrendered 0.57 percent and Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) dropped 0.76 percent. Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO) shed 2.93 percent.

The Metals & Mining Index plunged 1.07 percent with Cline Mining Corp. CMK.TO) surrendering 2.62 percent and Teck Resources (TCK.B.TO) dropping 0.79 percent. Denison Mines Corp. (DML.TO) shed 1.56 percent. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) shed 0.96 percent and Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) declined 3.31 percent.

Transportation systems maker Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) made a modest gain of 0.42 percent, while tech heavyweight Research In Motion (RIM.TO) shed 2.10 percent.

The Materials Index declined 0.56 percent with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) down 0.39 percent and Uranium One Inc. (UUU.TO) down 1.80 percent.

The Financial Index moved up 0.30 percent with Royal Bank (RY.TO) gaining 0.68 percent and TD Bank (TD.TO) up 1.08 percent. Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) shed 0.88 percent, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) shed 0.13 percent.

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, dropped $1.50 or 0.1 percent to $1,774.90 an ounce Monday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Global Gold Index shed 0.83 percent.

IAMGOLD Corporation (IMG.TO) shed 2.52 percent, while B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) was down 1.18 percent. Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) shed 0.80 percent, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) down 0.88 percent, while Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) edged down 0.09 percent.

NovaGold Resources Inc. (NG.TO) shed 1.85 percent, while Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) added 1.40 percent.

Guyana Goldfields Inc. (GUY.TO) dived nearly 12.5 percent. The company on Friday had completed a positive feasibility study for its Aurora Gold Project in Guyana.

Natural, organic and specialty foods products company SunOpta Inc. (SOY.TO) lost over 3 percent after indicating that it expects to report a loss of $0.11 per share for the fourth quarter of 2011. The company also announced plans to to trim its workforce by 6 percent.

Gran Tierra Energy (GTE.TO) gained over 4 percent after reporting over 2-fold jump in its fourth quarter net income at $126.9 million or $0.45 per share from a year ago.

Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) gained 1.04 percent. The pipeline company revealed plans of its CEO Pat Daniel to later this year, while elevating Al Monaco, heads of gas pipeline business, as his successor.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) swung to profit in the fourth quarter, reporting net income of C$0.18 per share, with adjusted earnings increased of C$0.94 per share. The stock gained over 5 percent.

In the U.S., the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December. Economists had been expecting to index to increase by about 1.5 percent.

In other economic news, eurozone's broad monetary aggregate M3 grew 2.5 percent year-on-year in January, according to data published by the European Central Bank. The increase exceeded December's 1.5 percent rise and the 1.8 percent rise forecast by economists.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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