CANADA STOCKS-Rout continues as TSX plunges 2 percent to 2015 low

Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:31pm EDT
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(Updates to market close and adds analyst's comments)

* TSX down 299.63 points, or 2.13 percent, at 13,737.00

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups fall

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index sank more than 2 percent on Thursday, hitting the lowest level of the year, as investor concern about prospects for global economic growth continued to cast a pall over markets.

The TSX index suffered its ninth loss in 11 sessions, with most of its main sectors giving up more than 1.5 percent. The healthcare group lost nearly 5 percent.

"The selling is indiscriminate, it's panic-driven, and it doesn't help that the U.S. indices have also turned soft over the past month," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The day's move was driven by the recent drop in oil prices, as well as diving Chinese equity markets, he added, while volatility in foreign exchange markets has also been spilling over to equities.

Royal Bank of Canada was among the biggest decliners on the index, shedding 2.2 percent to C$74.08. Toronto-Dominion Bank followed, declining 2 percent to C$50.91.   Continued...