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Canadian Markets

May 8, 2012, 5:18 p.m. EDT

Canadian stocks close at year-low on Greece woes

By Sue Chang, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks closed Tuesday at a new low for the year, succumbing to world-wide concerns about the euro zone’s financial woes.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index  fell 155.92 points, or 1.3%, to end at 11,704.74. It was also the benchmark’s lowest close since Dec. 19.

The political situation in Greece took an uncertain turn after Antonis Samaras, the leader of the conservative New Democracy party, said Monday that it was impossible to form a coalition government. It is now up to Alexis Tsipras who heads the antiausterity Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, to undertake the task.

The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index  slumped 2.2% and the S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index (TORONTO:XX:TORGC195)  surrendered 2.8% while the S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index (TORONTO:XX:TORGC193)  dropped 1.3%.

Resources and gold companies were some of the biggest losers with Kinross Gold Corp. (TSE:CA:K)   (NYS:KGC)  tanking 6.5% and Teck Resources Ltd.  shedding 4.4%. Goldcorp Inc. (TSE:CA:G)  sank 4.3% and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (TSE:CA:AEM)  fell 3.1%.

Gold for June delivery (NYM:GCM22)  slid $34.60, or 2.1%, to settle at $1,604.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange as a strong dollar (IFUS:DXY)  on the back of developments in Europe dulled gold’s glow. Read MarketWatch’s gold report

News that Canada’s housing starts jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 244,900 units in April, the highest since September 2007, failed to spread much cheer in the weak market.

In currencies, the Canadian dollar eased, with the U.S. dollar (XTUP:USDCAD)  buying 99.85 Canadian cents in recent activity.

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