CANADA STOCKS-TSX gets slapped as commodity prices fall hard

Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:13pm EST
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* Materials group falls 6.4 percent to lead slide

* Energy sector next in line with near 4 percent skid

* TSX now down 2 percent in 2009 (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell more than 3 percent on Monday as tumbling commodity prices rattled the resource-heavy index and knocked it to its lowest closing level in two weeks.

The market tumbled more than 100 points at the open and was never able to recover as prices for key Canadian exports such as oil and gold were hammered throughout the session.

"It's been red since they rang the bell this morning," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities. "You've got gold down, oil down, commodities down and the Canadian dollar is down and that's going to take our market with it."

The slide was headlined by sharp selloffs in the energy and materials sectors, which together make up about 40 percent of the overall index.

The materials group, which is home to gold-mining stocks, led the market lower with a 6.41 percent skid, followed by a 3.98 percent drop in the energy sector.   Continued...