UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks battered as financials retreat

Thu Mar 6, 2008 6:01pm EST
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(Adds details, background, analyst comments)

By Natalie Armstrong

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock exchange's main index lost more than 200 points on Thursday, weighed down by credit market concerns and profit-taking in commodities.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 242.88 points, or 1.8 percent, at 13,360.44.

All of the TSX index's 10 main groups were lower, led by the financial sector which dropped 3.4 percent.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) sank C$3.05, or 6.8 percent, to close at C$41.97, battered by worries over the bank's structured-credit investments and higher provisions on loan losses announced earlier this week.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell C$2.25, or 4 percent, to end at C$62.04.

"The mood from the U.S. economic data, the writeoffs and the credit situations, really unfortunately are still signaling troubling times ahead," Vincent Delisle, strategist at Scotia Capital in Montreal, told Reuters.

"This market will not engage in a sustainable rally until credit situations, until financial sentiment improves, and unfortunately we know we're not there yet."   Continued...