CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops 1 percent, squeezed by financial, energy losses

Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:12pm EDT
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(Adds market developments, analyst's comments)

* TSX down 162.58 points, or 1.15 percent, to 14,031.29

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups lower

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday with financial and energy shares suffering heavy losses as oil prices sank on rising U.S. inventories while concern about China's economy continued to rattle the market.

The index's slide, its eighth in 10 sessions, tracked falls on stock markets around the world. U.S. indexes were also down by about 1 percent.

"Canada's a victim of the rest of the world ... Certainly oil hitting new lows is not good for our market," said Philip Petursson, managing director, capital markets and strategy, at the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.

Crude prices sank to nearly 6-1/2-year lows after U.S. data showed an unexpected rise in stockpiles. U.S. crude prices were down 3.8 percent at $41 a barrel late on Wednesday morning.

About half of the weight of the Toronto stock market's key index is comprised of financial and energy names. This does not bode well for the market, Petursson said, noting that a combination of factors were hurting financial stocks, including banks' ties to commodities-related companies and the low interest rate environment.   Continued...