CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower as financials, oils weigh

Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:14pm EST
 
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* TSX down 0.9 percent with 5 sectors lower

* Financials off 2.8 percent as insurers hit

* Energy issues retreat 1.5 percent (Adds details, quote)

TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell on Thursday, pressured by weakness in financials as two of Canada's biggest insurers posted disappointing results, while the energy sector retreated along with the price of oil.

The financial services sector was down 2.8 percent, leading the Toronto Stock Exchange's main index lower. Energy issues fell 1.5 percent, adding to the downward pressure, as oil futures CLc1 dropped below $34 a barrel on concerns about the global economy and tumbling demand. [ID:nSYD417720]

In the oil patch, EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) was down 1.5 percent at C$52.33.

Major issues on the downside included Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), off 6.7 percent at C$18.07, and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO: Quote), which fell 2.8 percent to C$22.55.

The two big insurers saw their quarterly results battered by ailing capital markets, writedowns and the need to shore up reserves. [ID:nN12444909]

"Financials are down quite significantly because of the dismal results from the insurance companies. So, for a change today, the focus is on the insurance stocks and not on the bank stocks," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.   Continued...