CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls to 2012 low on oil rout; rates held steady

Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:47am EST
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* TSX down 360.4 points, or 3 percent, at 11,641.84

* All of the TSX's 10 main groups fall

TORONTO Jan 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slumped 3 percent on Wednesday, hitting an almost 3-1/2 year low, with energy and financial shares leading the drop as a rout in oil prices and global equity markets rumbled on.

Investors failed to take much comfort from the Bank of Canada holding rates steady rather than cutting despite lower growth, opting for patience because of expected help from a weak currency, past rate cuts, fiscal stimulus and U.S. strength.

At 10:27 a.m. EST (1527 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 360.4 points, or 3 percent, at 11,641.84.

All 10 main groups fell, with a 5.8-percent plunge in energy stocks helping push the index to its lowest level since August 3, 2012.

Suncor Energy Inc fell 5.4 percent to C$27.52 and Canadian Natural Resources declined 6.6 percent to C$21.41.

U.S. crude touched its lowest since 2003, as a global supply glut bumped up against bearish financial news that sparked deeper worries over demand.

Banks and other financial stocks also weighed, with Royal Bank of Canada down 3 percent to C$65.41 and Bank of Nova Scotia off 3 percent at C$51.66. Insurer Manulife Financial Corp fell 3.8 percent to C$17.35.

Telecoms slumped 5.9 percent, while industrial stocks fell 1.5 percent.

There were 10 decliners for every rising stock, and 83 issues were at new 52-week lows. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski)