UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks dragged lower by profit-taking

Mon Feb 4, 2008 4:48pm EST
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(Updates numbers, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO Feb 4 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index slid on Monday as gains in the energy sector were undercut by profit-taking among bank and gold issues.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 60.21 points, or 0.45 percent, at 13,258.16 with seven of its 10 main groups on the downside.

The gold-producers subindex, which has enjoyed a strong run since the beginning of the year, retreated 2.9 percent with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) down C$1.58, or 3.1 percent, at C$49.06.

The group was stung by declines in the price of gold, which also fell on profit-taking and technical selling. The broader materials sector was off 0.8 percent.

Financials, which rose nearly 4 percent last week on bargain-hunting last week, turned around and shed 1.2 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) was down C$1.84, or 2.5 percent, at C$71.64, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell C$1.14, or 1.7 percent, to C$67.89.

"One could say it's simply profit-taking -- those two (sectors) had the biggest bounce," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

"Having said that, it's still rather encouraging. You would think with such a big bounce up, it would be more aggressive profit-taking."

Also in the banking sector, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) lost 54 Canadian cents, or 1.1 percent, to C$48.29 after it said it was buying banking operations in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.   Continued...