UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks drop on revived credit worries

Tue Apr 8, 2008 10:20am EDT
 
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TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index was lower on Tuesday morning as more worries over the health of the North American economy shook investor confidence.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 79.83 points, or 0.6 percent, at 13,665.18 after touching as low as 13,643.12 earlier in the day.

Nine of the TSX index's 10 main groups were lower, including a 1.3 percent drop in the heavily weighted financial group and a 1.1 percent dip in the technology sector.

Financial shares, which account for about 30 percent of the overall index, slipped after U.S. savings and loan company Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N: Quote) said it expects a first-quarter net loss of more than $1 billion and said it is cutting its dividend.

Financial shares dropped on worries that the worst of the credit crisis might not be over.

All of the big banks were lower, including Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), which fell 71 Canadian cents to C$47.31, and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote), which dropped 53 Canadian cents to C$49.04.

Telecommunications shares were led lower by Nortel Networks NT.TO, which fell 41 Canadian cents to C$7.18, after brokerage UBS dropped its share price target for the telecommunications equipment maker.

Energy shares rose on a rebound in U.S. crude oil prices. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was up 68 Canadian cents at C$105.19.

($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Peter Galloway)