UPDATE 1-Profit taking threatens Toronto index's 4-day climb

Mon Dec 3, 2007 10:34am EST
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TORONTO Dec 3 (Reuters) - Toronto stocks remained weak on Monday as profit taking in the banking group and a slide in the technology group threatened to halt the index's four-day winning streak.

By midmorning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 17.98 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,671.14 after dropping to as low as 13,635.03 earlier in the day.

The Canadian benchmark index shed 6.4 percent in November, but recovered 1.6 percent in the last week as global stock markets priced in a U.S. interest rate cut later in the month.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE started the month at 13,689.12 after rising 25.23 points, or 0.2 percent, in the previous session.

The TSX has logged monthly gains in December in each of the last 10 years.

"People seem to be taking a bit of a pause after last week which ended up not being too bad a week in a dismal month," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung and Co Investment Counsel.

But Sprung did not expect too much activity ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate cut next week.

Meanwhile, a majority of Canada's primary securities dealers expect the Bank of Canada to hold its rates steady at 4.5 percent when it sets its policy on Tuesday, according to a Reuters poll released last week. However, it is expected to cut rates when it makes its next decision in January.

Overall, six of the TSX index's 10 main groups were lower with financial shares off 0.3 percent and technology issues down 1.2 percent.   Continued...