UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks dive to 5-month low on growth woes

Thu Sep 4, 2008 5:35pm EDT
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* TSX falls more than 320 points

* Racks up loss of 7 percent for week so far

* Hit by fears of slower growth, weak resource demand (Adds details, quotes)

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index skidded to it lowest in more than five months on Thursday, battered by worries about slowing global growth and the impact that will have on the demand for resources.

Concerns over weakness in the U.S. labor market and a drop in prices for oil, gold and other metals also combined to knock the Toronto benchmark down more than 2 percent -- bringing its losses over three days to 7 percent.

The price of crude, a key underlying factor for the energy-heavy index, slumped anew as worries over demand overshadowed a drop in U.S. inventories. Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO was down 5 percent at C$44.95.

The materials sector, home to resource shares, also dragged as gold producers and other miners fell. Fertilizer firm Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) slid 2.5 percent to C$160.37.

"It's not just the Toronto market, it's markets around the world," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier. "It's just a general lack of confidence in the overall market."   Continued...