CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps on oil prices, job losses

Fri Dec 5, 2008 11:26am EST
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* Energy sector down 5.3 pct as oil slides below $42

* Canada loses 70,600 jobs in Nov., sharpest since '82

* RBC sags after reports lower quarterly profit (Adds quote, details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fell more than 2 percent on Friday morning as resource issues dropped on lower commodity prices and steep job losses in Canada and the United States added to the dark economic outlook.

Leading the way down were the big energy and materials sectors, which fell 5.3 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, as oil CLc1 dropped below $42 a barrel [ID:nSP396483], while gold and base metals were also lower.

The big tumble in the price of oil has hit the resource-heavy Toronto market hard, said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

"Forty dollar oil means a good part of the oil patch doesn't make very much money and I think analysts had expected oil to rally, bounce, and as oil goes to new lows it definitely has hurt a very big part of the TSX index," said Ing.

EnCana Corp ECA.TO sank 3.8 percent to C$47.95, while Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO fell 7.2 percent to C$38.06.   Continued...