December 10, 2014 / 3:53 PM / 3 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX sheds 1.5 percent as oil selloff deepens

3 Min Read

* TSX down 210.88 points, or 1.49 percent, at 13,984.85

* Nine of 10 main index sectors decline

* Yamana jumps after on plans for Brazilian assets

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped 1.5 percent on Wednesday, with shares of energy producers sharply lower as oil prices tumbled on a weak outlook for demand in 2015.

Already battered oil prices hit a five-year low after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut its forecast for oil demand.

The heavyweight energy sector, down 42 percent since the middle of June, gave back another 4.5 percent.

The selloff in oil prices has raised questions about the financial health of energy companies and has been a drag on the benchmark TSX, which slid to its lowest in nearly eight weeks.

"Investors are going to be nervous for a while here," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management. "I suspect we're in for a high degree of volatility for period of who knows how long. It could be six months, it could be more."

"This should be a time when investors should be looking for opportunities among the stronger companies instead of just heading for the exits," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 210.88 points, or 1.49 percent, at 13,984.85. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Among energy producers, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 3.1 percent to C$34.67 and Crescent Point Energy Corp shed 8 percent to C$22.94.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, fell 1.4 percent, with Bank of Montreal losing 1.5 percent to C$78.06 and Royal Bank of Canada off 1.5 percent to C$78.72.

The gold-mining sector climbed 1.9 percent. Barrick Gold Corp advanced 3.1 percent to C$14.22, and Goldcorp Inc added 1.6 percent to $23.61.

Yamana Gold Inc jumped 3.7 percent, to C$5.09, after the miner said it will place some of its Brazilian assets, deemed non-core, into a subsidiary dubbed Brio Gold, and will explore a potential sale along with other options for the unit in 2015. (Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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