Toronto stocks slip as inflation fears bite banks

Thu Jan 3, 2008 9:50am EST
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TORONTO Jan 3 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index edged lower early on Thursday, following a strong rise the day before, as creeping worries over inflation undercut financial stocks for a second straight session.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 15.57 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,911.19 just after the market opened. Eight of the index's 10 main groups were in the red, including a 0.6 percent drop in financials, the biggest sector by weight.

As in the previous session, materials and energy shares pulled in the opposite direction. Those sectors rose 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent respectively as the prices of spot gold and crude oil stayed near record highs.

The bullish oil price, which reached $100 a barrel on Wednesday, served to stoke global inflation fears. The shares of banks and other financial institutions are typically sensitive to inflation jitters.

($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Peter Galloway)