UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks dive as commodity prices fall

Tue Sep 9, 2008 5:11pm EDT
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*TSX tumbles as resource shares drop with commodity prices

*Index closes near January's 2008 low

(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index plunged more than 3 percent on Tuesday, weighed down by falling commodity prices and closing in on January's 2008 low.

The heavyweight materials and energy sectors led the way down. Oil prices tumbled on expectations OPEC would leave targets unchanged and as the hurricane threat to U.S oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico eased.

In the oil patch, Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO fell 6.9 percent to C$74.50.

A drop in metals prices hurt the materials sector, where fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, one of the biggest losers, was down 7.5 percent to C$150.27.

The large financial sector held up better than the resource groups, but still fell 1.2 percent as worries about the ability of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers LEH.N to raise capital fueled concern about the broader banking sector.

"I think with the global slowdown that we have, it's not surprise that the commodities have been reduced in prices to where they right are now," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc.   Continued...