February 13, 2009 / 10:29 PM / in 9 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls, hurt by RIM, financial shares

* TSX sheds 3.7 percent on the week

* Information technology leads TSX lower, RIM weighs

* Financials slip 2.4 percent on U.S. bank worries (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Friday, dragged lower by financial services stocks on persisting worries about the health of the U.S. banking sector, while materials shares dropped as the price of gold softened.

The resource-laden index dropped 3.7 percent on the week after logging gains for the two previous weeks.

The information technology group dropped 2.7 percent, leading the downside on a percentage basis, as Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO slumped 4.8 percent to C$60.05.

Financial shares, down 2.4 percent, remained under pressure from big insurers Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), which reported weak results on Thursday. Manulife fell 3.7 percent to C$17.53, while Sun Life fell 4.5 percent to C$22.10.

Broader worries over the health of the U.S. banking sector also hit the heavily weighted financials, said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd., in Calgary.

The market is awaiting details on the U.S. bank rescue plan after an announcement by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner earlier this week disappointed markets with its vagueness.

“That’s carrying over from the U.S. to Canada as well. We’re waiting for some kind of announcement out of the government,” Kerkovius said.

The market was also awaiting any news from the meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers in Rome, he said.

“Everyone wants to see some concrete action on the part of the U.S. Treasury,” he said. “They want to see some concrete action on the part of other members of the G7.”

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 100.68, or 1.15 percent, to 8,678.10, with seven of its main groups were lower.

“The market is just struggling day to day with the outlook for where the economy is going,” said Murray Leith, director of research at Odlum Brown, in Vancouver.

“The root of the problem is that consumers have too much debt. You’re not going to make that go away overnight. There’s nothing that (U.S. President Barack) Obama or anybody can do to make that fact go away overnight.”

Other stocks pressuring the index included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), down 3.1 percent at C$29.80, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which dropped 3.8 percent to C$46.70.

The energy sector rose 0.3 percent as oil CLc1 rallied on stimulus optimism, settling $3.53 higher at $37.51 a barrel. [ID:nSP153908]

Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) fell 6.8 percent to C$3.29 after one of its Dash 8 Q400 turboprop aircraft crashed near Buffalo, New York, on Thursday night, killing 50 people. [ID:nN13524638]

Among issues on the upside was Brookfield Asset Management Inc, which rose 4.6 percent to finish at C$19.55, as it reported a lower quarterly profit but said its operating cash flow rose 48 percent. [ID:nN13529188]

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 6.99 points lower, or 1.32 percent, at 521.13.

$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway

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