CANADA STOCKS-TSX dragged lower by bank woes, lower oil

Tue Apr 7, 2009 10:38am EDT
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* TSX falls 136 points to 8,879.71

* Banks and energy shares headline drop

* Materials only group in higher territory (Adds details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was down more than 1.5 percent on Tuesday morning as concerns about toxic assets rattled shares of banks and insurers, while a drop in oil prices pulled down the energy sector.

The financial sector was down 1.7 percent following news that the International Monetary Fund was about to forecast that toxic assets racked up by banks and insurers could hit $4 trillion. [ID:nT186243]

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was down 2.7 percent at C$37.17, while Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO fell 2.3 percent to C$44.22.

"The toxic assets are obviously key, and with oil prices underneath $50 (a barrel) that's quite a bit of negative for Canada," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities.

The price of oil, a key Canadian export that often influences direction for the TSX, pulled the energy sector down by 2.65 percent.   Continued...