CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps on oil prices, job losses

Fri Dec 5, 2008 10:39am EST
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* Energy sector down 4.4 pct as oil slides below $43

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

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

TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was down more than 2.5 percent on Friday morning as resource issues dropped on lower commodity prices and as the economic outlook darkened on figures showing steep job losses in Canada and the United States.

The big energy and materials sectors fell 4.4 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, as oil CLc1 dropped below $43 a barrel on grim U.S. jobs data, 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: Quote) sank 3.4 percent to C$48.15, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) fell 5.7 percent to C$38.65.

Among the gold miners, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 8.9 percent to C$30.15, while Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote) slipped 8.6 percent to C$15.90.   Continued...