CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as lower oil rattles energy shares

Wed Apr 8, 2009 10:37am EDT
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* TSX down 17 points at 8,806.98

* Lower energy shares lead selloff

* Insurance stocks help limit slide (Adds details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was slightly lower on Wednesday morning as lower oil prices weighed on energy shares and more than offset the boost financials got from a report of U.S. government aid for life insurers.

A drop in the price of oil further below $50 pushed the energy sector down more than 1 percent and spoiled the chance of the index rebounding after four straight lower closes.

Shares of EnCana Corp ECA.TO were down 1.7 percent at C$51.94, while Talisman Energy TLM.TO shares dropped 2.9 percent to C$14.28.

The heavily weighted financial sector rose 0.4 percent and kept the market from skidding further after a newspaper report said the U.S. Treasury plans to extend the Troubled Asset Relief Program to certain life insurers. [ID:nN07494064]

Insurer Manulife Financial MFC.TO was up 0.8 percent at C$16.29, while Sun Life Financial SLF.TO was up 2.8 percent at C$24.42.   Continued...