UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks tumble in broad-based retreat

Wed Jan 9, 2008 2:56pm EST
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TORONTO Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index sank more than 100 points on Wednesday, as a broad-based decline was punctuated by steep drops by Research In Motion RIM.TO and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO.

The index rose nearly 30 points earlier in the volatile session, but all sectors were in the red by afternoon as the TSX tracked U.S. stock markets lower.

All eyes were on the United States for signs that Canada's biggest trading partner could possibly be heading into a recession. Goldman Sachs said earlier in the day that a U.S. recession would take hold sometime this year.

"The U.S. markets are leading us down. There are very few, if any, places to hide," said Neil Andrew, portfolio manager at Leeward Hedge Funds.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 108.54 points, or 0.8 percent, at 13,433.21. It has fallen in the last three sessions.

BlackBerry-maker RIM was down C$2.82 at C$94.28. Fertilizer producer Potash Corp was off C$3.86 at C$134.46.

Financial stocks benefited from bargain-hunting earlier in the day but slipped 0.2 percent in later trading, mirroring U.S. financial indexes which were hit by renewed worries over a deteriorating mortgage market.

The steepest losses were logged in telecoms, down 1.9 percent; consumer discretionary, down 1.7 percent; and industrials, down 1.5 percent.   Continued...