UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks pressured by softer resources

Thu May 1, 2008 10:51am EDT
 
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(Adds details, analyst's comment)

TORONTO May 1 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fell on Thursday morning as energy and mining shares dropped on softer commodity prices.

A rising U.S. dollar undercut the prices of crude oil, natural gas and gold, which in turn weighed on TSX resource shares. Energy shares were off 0.9 percent and materials were off 1 percent.

Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 67.44 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,869.60, with four of its 10 main groups in the red. Earlier it had punched briefly into positive terrain as banks and Research In Motion RIM.TO gained ground.

After a volatile four months, the index is within 40 points of where it started the year. Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada, said that volatility will likely continue for another two months.

EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) led all decliners on Thursday, down C$1.38 at C$79.87, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) fell C$2.17 to C$111.48.

Among materials producers, Centerra Gold CG.TO fell 7 Canadian cents to C$8.57, despite reporting a big rise in first-quarter profit on Thursday. For details, see: [nN0143307]

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO: Quote), which posted a first-quarter profit on Thursday, rose C$1.99 to C$52.50.

RIM, the BlackBerry maker, led all gainers, up C$3.59 at C$126.18. That helped to boost the TSX technology group by 1.3 percent.

The financial sector recovered from an early decline, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) rising 0.8 percent.

($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Peter Galloway)