August 8, 2008 / 2:51 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Toronto stock index falls on resources, jobs data

(Adds details)

*TSX index sags on tumble in oil and gold

*July jobs data helps send index lower

*Telus jumps after quarterly results

TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was lower on Friday morning as oil and gold prices fell and July Canadian jobs figures came in much weaker than expected.

The price of oil slipped to around $116 a barrel on demand concerns, while gold also sagged, sending the index’s energy and materials sectors down 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) fell C$2.13, or 2.9 percent, to C$72, while Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) dropped C$5.29, or 2.8 percent, to C$183.70.

The stock market fall reflects concern that the global economy is showing strain, said Vincent Delisle, strategist at Scotia Capital in Montreal.

“The U.S. dollar is rebounding and commodity prices are declining,” Delisle said. “For Canada, this is being compounded by very weak employment data.”

Figures released on Friday showed the Canadian economy shed 55,000 jobs in July. That was worse than expectations for a gain of 5,000 jobs and was the biggest job loss since February 1991.

At midmorning, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 50.78 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,334.39, but just three of its 10 main groups were lower. The benchmark index skidded more than 100 points at the open.

Supporting the index was the heavyweight financial sector, up 2 percent as investors bought in after dumping commodity-related stocks. The sector shrugged off a quarterly loss by U.S. home financing company Fannie Mae FNM.N.

Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) rose C$1.64, or 4.3 percent, to C$39.79.

Shares of Telus Corp (T.TO) were up C$1.65, or 4.2 percent, at C$40.60 after Canada’s No. 2 phone company reported an increase in quarterly profit, helped by a rise in wireless revenue and new subscribers. ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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