CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles as investors book profits

Wed Jun 3, 2009 4:36pm EDT
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* Falls nearly 300 points points to 10,290.12

* Energy shares blamed for bulk of slide

* Index erases all of week's early gains (Adds details, comments and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed sharply lower on Wednesday as a drop in oil prices rattled its weighty energy sector and opened the door to profit-taking following the market's big climb since March.

The energy sector tumbled 4.8 percent, the biggest drop among all of the TSX's sectors, in tandem with a retreat by oil prices from a seven-month high.

Shares of Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), the biggest drag on the index, dropped 6 percent to C$62.50, followed by EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), which shed 4.3 percent to C$59.98.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 298.67 points, or 2.82 percent, at 10,290.12. Nine of the TSX's 10 sectors ended lower, with the consumer discretionary group the only one to eke out a gain.

The index remains up comfortably from the five-year low hit in early March, but the latest selloff has wiped out all of the meaty gains recorded earlier this week.   Continued...