CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps on economic worries, oil price

Thu Mar 5, 2009 4:34pm EST
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* TSX ends down 2.37 percent at 7,629.17

* Decline wipes out all of Wednesday gains

* U.S. bank concerns and weaker oil blamed for selloff (Adds comments, details, official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower on Thursday, relinquishing all the gains made during the previous session, as nagging concerns about the global economic outlook shook the resource-heavy index.

Financial issues headlined the Toronto Stock Exchange's latest decline with investors uneasy about the status of major U.S. banks. Energy shares also contributed to the selloff as oil prices tumbled on concerns about demand.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) closed 4.45 percent lower at C$29.22, while EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), Canada's biggest energy company, tumbled 3.4 percent to C$48.56.

News that China opted not to announce an increase to its economic stimulus plan got the Toronto index off to a lower start as hopes for new stimulus measures by Beijing had supported euity rallies in the previous session.

Thursday's selloff was the latest display of how little confidence investors have in stocks, considering the index has been unable to string together any sustainable gains after falling earlier this week to its lowest level in over five years.   Continued...