Toronto stock index opens lower on financials

Thu Aug 7, 2008 9:47am EDT
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TORONTO Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index opened lower on Thursday, pulled down by the heavyweight financial sector, while firmness in resource stocks and quarterly results from Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO softened the blow.

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 29.90 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13.423.61, with seven of its 10 main groups lower.

Financial stocks slipped 1.4 percent as investors took their cue from the United States, where jobless claims and results from American International Group Inc AIG.N heightened concerns over the health of the U.S. economy.

On the upside, the energy and materials sectors were up 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, supported by relative strength in underlying commodity prices.

Shares of Canadian Natural were up 2.1 percent at C$80.98 after the company reported a quarterly loss, mainly due to risk management losses, but the company said cash flow hit a record on higher realized energy costs. ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Scott Anderson)