UPDATE 3-Commodity retreat drags Toronto stocks lower

Fri Aug 8, 2008 4:45pm EDT
 
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

* TSX slips as resources fall with commodities

* Oil drop provides relief to other sectors

* Data shows unexpectedly large job loss for July

TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended lower on Friday, held down as resource issues fell alongside commodity prices, while worries over the economy were stoked by an unexpectedly large job loss last month.

Despite sending the heavyweight resource sectors tumbling, the nearly $5 drop in oil provided relief to the index's other sectors, including consumer and industrial shares. Among consumer stocks, Gildan Activewear GIL.TO rose 6.9 percent.

But companies tied to commodities led the downside, including oil and gold producers, as their underlying resources slumped while the U.S. dollar rose. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO slid 7.3 percent.

Economic worries were also stirred by data that showed a surprisingly large 55,000 jobs were lost in July, the biggest monthly loss since the 1991 recession.

"The absence of good economic news and the overwhelming weight of the decline in commodity prices is enough to sink our market," said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.   Continued...