UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks turn negative, subprime fears weigh

Tue Jan 8, 2008 3:43pm EST
 
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(Updates numbers, adds details)

TORONTO Jan 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index retreated into negative territory on Tuesday afternoon as worries over more fallout from the subprime mortgage market undercut gains in gold-mining issues.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 64.13 points, or 0.47 percent, at 13,555.74 late in the afternoon after gaining more than 100 points earlier in the day. Nine of its 10 main groups were in negative territory.

Jitters over the prospect of more bad news out of the battered U.S. subprime mortgage market weighed on the index even after U.S. mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N denied market rumors that it was facing bankruptcy.

In Toronto, the financials sector was off 1 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) fell C$2.41, or 3.5 percent, to C$66.61.

The consumer discretionary sector shed 2 percent, while the industrials sector lost 1.4 percent.

The materials sector, the only sector on the upside, gained 1.7 percent as the price of gold hit a record high.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) rose C$2.65, or 5.6 percent, to C$50.14, while the subsector of gold producers soared 4.1 percent. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)