CANADA STOCKS-TSX index slumps as commodities retreat

Thu Nov 6, 2008 5:02pm EST
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* Energy sector falls 6.8 percent as oil slides

* Materials sink 6.9 percent as metal prices fall

* Canadian Natural off 11.6 pct as project costs rise (Adds official closing figures, details)

TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index dropped more than 3 percent on Thursday as energy and materials issues fell along with commodity prices, which were pressured by worries about a faltering world economy.

The oil and gas sector dropped 6.8 percent as the price of oil sank to $60.77 a barrel on fears that economic softness would undercut global demand. [ID:nSYD166191]

The materials group sank 6.9 percent with Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) down 7.6 percent at C$94.25.

Stocks that weighed on the TSX index include Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), down 11.6 percent at C$53.40. Canadian Natural was a major drag as it said it would slash spending next year. [ID:nBNG401176]

Also leading the slide were Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which fell 11.2 percent at C$24.75, and Research in Motion RIM.TO, which was down 9 percent at C$56.80

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 331.79 points, or 3.36 percent, at 9.555.41, with all but one of the 10 sectors lower. The consumer staples group rose 0.4 percent.   Continued...