(Adds strategist quotes and details on Sun Life Financial and
bank stocks, updates prices)
* TSX closes down 168.03 points, or 1.14 percent, at
* Index posts lowest close since Sept. 19
* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups end lower
* Materials sector ends down 6.7 percent
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Oct 4 Canada's main stock index fell to
its lowest close in more than two weeks on Tuesday as a plunge
in gold prices weighed on shares of mining companies, and
financial and energy stocks also lost ground.
Gold fell more than 3 percent as forecast-beating
U.S. manufacturing data on Monday stoked expectations that the
Federal Reserve will lift interest rates by year-end.
"The expectation of lower interest rates or expansive
quantitative easing has been one of the main drivers of this
market. That view is changing," said Subodh Kumar, chief
investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates.
"You are getting a number of indications that distortions
have built up with quantitative easing and low interest rates
and that the central banks themselves are concerned," Kumar
The materials sector, which includes precious and base metal
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 6.7 percent, while a
global gold index heavily populated by Canadian miners
dropped 9.3 percent.
Both measures had risen steadily this year until August and
have faltered since.
Barrick Gold Corp lost 10.5 percent to C$20.39, and
Goldcorp Inc fell 8.1 percent to C$19.00.
Goldcorp said it was temporarily shutting down its
Peñasquito gold mine in Mexico as it was unable to safely
continue operations due to a week-long blockade by a trucking
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 168.03 points, or 1.14 percent, at
14,521.01. It was the lowest close for the index since Sept. 19.
Eight of the index's 10 main groups fell
Still, the TSX is expected to extend this year's hefty gains
in 2017, a Reuters poll found.
Sun Life Financial Inc rose 0.9 percent to C$42.72.
The insurer plans to expand into Singapore and Thailand, a
senior company executive said.
However, the overall financial group dipped 0.2 percent,
including losses for some of the country's major banks.
Bank of Montreal fell 1.8 percent to C$84.30, while
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was down 0.8 percent
Losses for some bank stocks came one day after the
government said it will close a tax loophole and introduce a
stress test for insured mortgage lending.
Energy stocks fell 0.3 percent as U.S. crude oil futures
settled 12 cents lower at $48.69 a barrel in choppy
trade. A surging U.S. dollar and anticipation of higher U.S.
crude stockpiles offset optimism about planned output cuts.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn and Leslie Adler)