CANADA STOCKS-TSX closes lower as crude retreats

Fri Jan 9, 2009 5:04pm EST
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* TSX sags 136 points on day

* Finishes week down 1.6 percent

* Oil price slides amid more economic gloom (Adds details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's key stock index closed sharply lower on Friday as employment data from Canada and the United States provided more evidence of a global recession, undercutting oil prices and shaking the resource-heavy TSX.

After charging out of the gate in 2009 with a string of solid gains that had the index up 5.76 percent earlier this week, a few losing sessions, mostly at the hands of lower oil prices, have left the market up just 1 percent on the year.

The heavyweight energy sector led Friday's decline with a 2.5 percent retreat as the price of crude slipped 2 percent.

Shares of EnCana Corp ECA.TO, one of the key drags on the index, finished down 2.8 percent at C$56.57, while Suncor Energy SU.TO dropped 3 percent to C$27.89.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 136.40 points, or 1.48 percent at 9,085.18. That was barely off its session low of 9,053.16, and far from the day's high, which had the market up 45.93 points shortly after the open.   Continued...