* TSX falls 52.58 points, or 0.43 percent, to 12,178.01
* Canadian Natural drops 3.7 percent
* Index hits more than two-week low
* Eight of ten subgroups decline
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Nov 8 Canada's main stock index fell on
Thursday, led lower by the energy sector, which was hurt by a
drop in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd after it cut its
Toronto stocks traded stronger at one point in a bumpy
session with investors sifting through positive U.S. jobs data
and as the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged.
Many investors remain concerned about resolving the issue of
the U.S. "fiscal cliff" - a mix of tax increases and spending
cuts due to extract some $600 billion from the economy starting
early in the new year barring a deal on Capitol Hill.
"We have a gridlock. The market is saying, 'Show us
something. Show us that you can resolve the problems that are
out there,'" said Levente Mady, senior portfolio manager at PI
In mid-afternoon trading, the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 52.58 points, or 0.43
percent, at 12,178.01. The index hit its lowest level in more
than two weeks, at one point touching 12,164.11.
Eight of the index's 10 main subgroups were trading lower.
The energy and financial subgroups helped lead the decline,
falling 1.18 percent and 0.61 percent, respectively.
Shares of Canadian Natural fell 3.7 percent to C$27.88 after
the country's biggest independent oil and gas producer reported
a 57 percent fall in quarterly profit and cut its full-year
forecast for crude oil and natural gas liquids output. It played
the biggest role of any single stock in leading the market
Some of Canada's major banks were also dragging the index
downward. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest
bank, fell 1.01 percent to C$55.76, Bank of Nova Scotia
, was down 0.76 percent at C$53.42 and Toronto Dominion
Bank last 0.75 percent to trade at C$80.41.
"If things are not worked out, the financials are going to
be bearing the brunt. It is a very risky part of the market,"
The Canadian market's losses were partially offset by gains
in Kinross Gold Corp, up 7.17 percent at C$10.01, and Sun
Life Financial, up 3.53 percent at C$25.23.
Kinross on Wednesday posted a third-quarter profit that
topped expectations and said it expects to meet the higher end
of its production targets for the year.
Sun Life, Canada's No. 3 life insurer, said after markets
closed on Wednesday that it swung back to a third-quarter profit
due to better results from investments.
Gold miners made gains as prices for gold surged in a
volatile session. Barrick Gold Corp was last
trading up 1.16 percent at C$36.57 and Goldcorp Inc rose
0.92 percent to C$44.92.