CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops on profit-taking after gains

Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:45pm EDT
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* TSX down 0.99 percent at 8,200.18

* Financials drop 1.2 percent (Updates to midday, updates figures)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 13 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was sharply lower at midday on Friday, dragged down by energy and financial shares as investors locked in profits following three straight days of gains.

Energy shares were down 2 percent with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) retreating 2.4 percent to C$46.86. Financial issues dropped 1.2 percent with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) falling 1.4 percent to C$40.52.

The resource-heavy materials group was flat but heavyweight member Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) fell 2.9 percent to C$96.25.

"We're in the process of trying to put in a bottom in the market, and it isn't a straight line," said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.

"You're going into a Friday, the markets had -- in relative terms... -- a pretty good week. So not a surprise to see a little bit of that profit-taking get locked in on the last trading day of the week."

At 11:50 a.m., (1550 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 82.09 points, or 0.99 percent, at 8,200.18, with eight of its 10 main groups lower.   Continued...