CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops 2.6 pct as oils, gold drag

Wed Jan 7, 2009 12:42pm EST
 
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* Commodity-related issues drop as oil, gold prices fall

* U.S. jobs data boosts fears of extended recession

* Rogers falls on subscriber results, analyst downgrade

* Intel warning weighs (Updates figures, adds details and analyst's comment)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was 2.6 percent lower at midday on Wednesday, led down by oil and gold shares as commodity prices dropped and as a bout of profit-taking set in after six straight sessions of gains.

The energy sector was down 4.7 percent as the price of oil slumped more than $3 a barrel after a U.S. government inventory report showed supplies rose more than expected. Oil company EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote), the index's biggest mover, shed 4.8 percent to C$57.93.

Gold issues fell with the price of gold, which slipped more than 3 percent. That weighed on the materials group, which dropped 3.4 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) was down 4.3 percent at C$38.09.

The heavily weighted financial sector was also a drag, down 2 percent, led lower by Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote). Manulife, Canada's biggest insurer, fell 3.8 percent to C$23.19, while Royal, Canada's biggest bank, lost 1.7 percent to C$37.39.   Continued...