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Gold shares drag Canadian stock market lower


13:07, February 14, 2013

TORONTO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian stock market closed lower on Wednesday, led by declines in gold shares.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 13.74 points, or 0.11 percent, to 12,775.28, while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index increased 5.32 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,204.28.

Shares in Barrick Gold Corp were key in dragging down the market. The Canada-based world's largest gold producer slumped 2.6 percent to 31.72 Canadian dollars per share after its African subsidiary released a disappointing earnings report.

African Barrick Gold said its production would shrink for a fifth straight year in 2013 and the company's focus was on reining in soaring costs.

A slew of gold stocks which are due to report quarterly earnings this or next week also dropped, with Kinross Gold Corp down 1.13 percent to 7.91 Canadian dollars per share and Goldcorp Inc down 1 percent.

A 2.3 percent drop in Thomson Reuters Corp shares also weighed on the main index after its revenue forecast for 2013 failed to beat analysts' expectation.

Meanwhile, a 0.24 percent rise in financial sector provided some lift for the market. Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.4 percent to 63.28 Canadian dollars per share. Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.4 percent to 58.80 Canadian dollars per share.

Energy sector rose 0.3 percent, supported by a 1.8 percent rise in the shares of Talisman Energy Inc, which reported a quarterly profit on gains from asset sales. Talisman stocks closed at 12.82 Canadian dollars per share.

At closing, the Canadian dollar strengthened to 0.9986 U.S. dollar at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT), compared with 0.9980 U.S. dollar on Tuesday.

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