CANADA STOCKS-TSX trims losses, banks lead way down

Mon Feb 2, 2009 11:49am EST
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* TSX lower on gloomy outlook, weak commodity prices

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups lower

* Financials slide 1.5 percent (Adds details)

TORONTO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell broadly on Monday morning, hurt by weaker banks and lower commodity prices, as concern mounted about the global economy and deteriorating corporate profits.

Financials dropped 1.5 percent, swept up in concerns about the recession, the ailing U.S. banking sector and news that ratings agency Moody's had cut Britain's Barclay's Bank on expectations of "significant" further losses.

"It still looks like it's in tough shape," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities. "Until the banking system gets straightened out we're in tough shape."

All five of Canada's biggest banks were lower, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) down 2.1 percent at C$38.97.

Energy company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) lost 3.03 percent to C$42.56 as crude retreated. Oil fell below $41 a barrel as the deepening U.S. recession shrank demand in the world's biggest and evidence mounted of a global downturn.

Gold slipped as short-term investors took profits after the precious metal hit three-month highs last week.   Continued...