April 8, 2008 / 2:53 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks dip on credit woes, profit taking

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TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index was lower on Tuesday as worries over the health of the North American economy shook investor confidence, prompting investors to take profit following a six-day rally.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 52.96 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,692.05 after falling as low as 13,643.12 earlier in the day.

This follows an impressive run up that saw the index add 511.22 points, or 3.9 percent, over the previous six days.

Nine of the TSX index’s 10 main groups were lower on Tuesday, including the heavily weighted financial group which dropped 1 percent and the technology sector which shed 0.9 percent.

At one point, all 10 groups were lower, which is usually indicative of profit taking.

“The market has had a couple of positive days and so investors have decided just to take a little bit of money off the table and consolidate,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

Financial shares, which account for about 30 percent of the overall index, slipped on concerns about the credit crisis after U.S. savings and loan company Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N) said it expected a first-quarter net loss of more than $1 billion and that it would cut its dividend.

All the big banks fell, including Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), which slipped 71 Canadian cents to C$47.31, and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), 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 telecom equipment maker.

Technology stocks were also rattled after bellwether Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD.N, the second-largest maker of computer processors, said it expects its first-quarter results to fall below market expectations.

Energy shares rose 0.5 percent on a rebound in U.S. crude oil prices, which were steady around $108.99 a barrel. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 68 Canadian cents at C$105.19 and EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) rose 65 Canadian cents to C$78.70.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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