CANADA STOCKS-TSX undercut by Manulife's big loss

Thu Aug 5, 2010 4:46pm EDT
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*TSX falls 70.28 points, or 0.59 percent, to 11,774.77

*Manulife, down 11.3 percent, weighs on TSX (Updates to close, adds quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower on Thursday as financial shares dropped after Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) posted a steep quarterly loss.

Manulife, Canada's largest life insurer, was the most heavily traded stock on the TSX and fell 11.3 percent to C$14.20. [ID:nN05256071]

Its big loss came after Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO: Quote), Canada's No. 3 insurer, said late on Wednesday that its net profit was cut by more than half by turbulent market conditions in the second quarter. [ID:nN04261095]

Sun Life was down 4.7 percent at C$27.27.

Analysts said the market's reaction to the results was a reflection of its fragility as it worries about the possibility of a double-dip recession.

"Any kind of news that points toward that, traders get nervous," said Aaron Fennell, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock Canada.   Continued...