Gold stocks weigh on Toronto stock market amid thin holiday volumes

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed slightly lower as gold stocks continued to add to the huge losses already racked up this year.

The S&P/TSX composite index shed 6.59 points to 13,581.39 amid thinner than usual volumes as 2013 trading winds down.

The Canadian dollar closed up 0.56 of a cent at 93.98 cents US.

New York markets turned in a mixed performance with the Dow Jones industrials up 25.88 points at 16,504.29, while the Nasdaq lost 2.39 points to 4,154.2 and the S&P 500 index dipped 0.33 of a point to 1,841.07.

The TSX gold sector fell around three per cent as February bullion lost $10 to just over $1,200 an ounce, adding further damage to a sector already down about 50 per cent for the year.

Gold prices have taken a big hit this year, down almost 30 per cent as the global economy has gradually improved and the U.S. Federal Reserve made moves to cut back on a key area of stimulus, its monthly bond purchases.