UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks lower in choppy session

Wed Jul 2, 2008 11:08am EDT
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(Updates to midmorning)

*TSX slightly lower in choppy session

*Index gives up earlier gain of 100 points

*Mining and agriculture stocks weigh

TORONTO, July 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was slightly lower on Wednesday, retreating from a large gain at the start of the session, as sagging materials offset gains in energy and financial shares.

Mining companies were among the biggest laggards as underlying commodity prices were mixed, while fertilizer companies also dragged. Fording Canadian Coal Trust FDG_u.TO was among the biggest losers, down C$8.88, or 9.1 percent, at C$88.62, as the price of coal fell.

Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management, noted that negativity over the global economy and the outlook for the second half of the year was also weighing on the market.

"The economy looks very bad, and numbers continue to be very difficult. I think that's going to be par for the course," said Harris.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 31.53 points, or 0.2 percent, at 14,435.50, after climbing as high as 14,584.85 at the start of the session.   Continued...