CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops after Greece, Portugal downgrades

* TSX down 0.69 percent at 12,196.48

* Heavily weighted banks and energy groups fall

* S&P cuts Greek debt to junk, downgrades Portugal
(Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index
fell sharply on Tuesday, after credit ratings for Greece and
Portugal were slashed, dragging down the risk-influenced
resource and financial sectors.

Heavily weighted financial shares slid 0.69 percent as
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: ) fell 1.27 percent to
C$75.97, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: ) lost 0.98 percent to
C$75.89.

In commodities, the energy sector shed 1.1 percent after
oil extended early losses to near $82 a barrel, pulled lower by
the nagging debt crisis concerns in Greece. The materials group
fell 0.5 percent as copper, aluminum and nickel prices dropped,
but gold prices firmed. [GOL/] [MET/L] [O/R]

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greek ratings
to junk status on concerns about its ability to implement the
reforms needed to address its high debt burden.
[ID:nLDE63P0LU]

It also cut the rating on Portugal by two notches to
A-minus, four levels above speculative, because of concerns
about the country’s ability to deal with high debt levels.

“This is looking like it’s a little more widespread. It may
not be limited to one country,” said Steve Ibel, institutional
equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ibel said the TSX was also likely due for a pause after
rising for six straight sessions.

At 12:50 p.m. (1650 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE: ) was down 84.49 points, or
0.69 percent, at 12,196.48, reclaiming some of its earlier 1
percent drop. The index seesawed through much of the morning
with a mixed performance across its 10 main groups.

The S&P downgrades also put pressure on European and U.S.
markets, which tumbled in reaction to signs that the Greek debt
crisis was spreading to other highly indebted states on the
periphery of the euro zone.

Other key decliners in Toronto included miner Teck
Resources (TCKb.TO: ), down 4.6 percent at C$41.24, and
fertilizer producer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: ), down 1.21 percent at
C$61.40.

Nexen Inc (NXY.TO: ) fell 2.42 percent to C$25.86 with the
broad market decline, after reporting a 37 percent rise in
first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) and increasing production at its Long Lake
oil sands project. [ID:nN27241352]

Influential advancers were mainly from the gold group,
including a 1.5 percent gain by Goldcorp (G.TO: ) to C$41.47,
with Kinross Gold (K.TO: ) up 1.04 percent at C$18.39.

Investment

($1=$1.01 Canadian)
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops after Greece, Portugal downgrades