CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2009 low amid profit fears, Nortel sinks

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:32am EST
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* All 10 TSX sectors pinned lower, financials lead skid

* Lower oil prices contribute to index's latest slide

* Nortel Networks shares plunge nearly 80 percent (Add details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell nearly 4 percent by late morning on Wednesday as concerns about upcoming corporate earnings weighed on sentiment, while Nortel Networks Corp NT.TO shares got hammered on news that it filed for bankruptcy protection.

Heavyweight financial and energy shares were the key drivers behind the slide in the index, which relinquished all of Tuesday's 168 point gain minutes after the open.

"People are just reluctant to invest in this environment," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities. Right now there are just not a lot of reasons for people to jump in the market, especially if they are people who have done it previously and it didn't work in their favor."

The financial services sector, which accounts for about 33 percent of the index and includes shares of Canadian banks and insurance companies, was down 4 percent.

Shares of Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), the biggest drag on the key Toronto index at midmorning, were down nearly 5 percent at C$34.13, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) shares were down 3.6 percent at C$43.83.   Continued...