CANADA STOCKS-TSX sideswiped by slumping energy shares

Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:15am EDT
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* TSX down 78.63 points at 10,635.48

* Energy shares lead decline (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower on Friday morning as a slide in commodity prices tripped up the resource-heavy index and pulled it down from the near eight-month high it touched during Thursday's session.

Energy shares led the latest slide as the price of oil, a key Canadian export, fell below $72 a barrel a day after it surged to a 2009 high above $73 a barrel.

The energy sector, one of the key drivers behind the TSX index's surge from a five-year low in March, was down 1.6 percent, which was the steepest decline among the index's sectors.

Shares of EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) fell 1.9 percent to C$61.78, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) dropped 1.3 percent to C$38.93.

"There's a lot of expectations built into the market but we haven't really seen the fundamentals come through yet to back it up," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates. "And with weaker energy prices today then you kind of lost one of the strengths that has been supporting it, and you're getting a little bit of weakness."

At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT) the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 78.63 points, or 0.73 percent, at 10,635.48. During Thursday's session the TSX rose to 10,726.01, which was its highest level since Oct. 14.

($1=$1.12 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)