UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks pulled lower by profit-taking

Wed May 7, 2008 5:11pm EDT
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO May 7 (Reuters) - The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange gave up ground on Wednesday as strong oil prices failed to dissuade investors from taking profits.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 42.77 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 14,371.53.

Five of the index's 10 main subgroups finished higher, including the key energy sector, which eked out a gain of 0.18 percent.

Among decliners, financials eased 0.86 percent and the resource-laden materials group dipped 0.42 percent.

The S&P/TSX 60 index of Canadian blue chips edged down 2.09 points, or 0.24 percent, to finish at 853.03.

As oil charges past the $120 a barrel mark, some investors remain cautious about the U.S. economy and are using the current strength of the markets as an opportunity to reduce exposure to equities, said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver.

"For the most part, we're doing relatively OK, but investors are a bit more fearful and to take a little bit off the table right now is not a bad idea," he said. "These sort of times would be good times to sell," he said.   Continued...