CANADA STOCKS-TSX hammered at open as oil falls, touches '09 low

Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:18am EST
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* All 10 TSX sectors pinned lower, financials lead skid

* Lower oil prices contribute to index's latest slide (Add details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index opened lower on Wednesday in a broad-based slide as lower oil prices and nagging concerns about upcoming corporate earnings hurt sentiment and convinced investors to pocket recent gains.

Heavyweight financial and energy shares were the key drivers behind the slide in the index, which relinquished all of the previous session's gain just 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."

Among the key drags on the index were shares of Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO and Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, which were both down 4 percent at C$34.35 and C$43.51 respectively. EnCana Corp ECA.TO, a key player in the energy sector, was down 2.6 percent at C$54.64.

At 10:10 a.m. (1510 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 239.91 points, or 2.68 percent, at 8,721.64.

Earlier, it had fallen to 8,719.57, a drop of 241 points that marked the index's lowest level since Dec. 30.

All 10 of the TSX's sectors were lower. (Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)