CANADA STOCKS-TSX sags as commodities fall, banks stumble
* Index down 0.98 percent at 11,688.64
* Weak oil, gold prices hit commodity issues
* Financials slide on U.S. bank fee concerns, JPMorgan (Adds details, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was down 1 percent at midday on Friday as commodity prices fell and bank shares were hit by concerns over a bank fee proposed by U.S. president Barack Obama, as well as by disappointing results from JPMorgan.
Heavyweight names on the downside included Kinross Gold K.TO, which dropped 4.6 percent to C$19.78, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) dropped 1.6 percent to C$36.93.
The price of oil fell below $79 a barrel, in part due to the lingering effects of disappointing U.S. economic data released on Thursday, while gold prices also dropped. [O/R] [GOL/]
The financial sector was weighed down in part by the prospect of a U.S. fee that would see banks pay up to $117 billion to reimburse taxpayers for the sector's financial bailout. [ID:nN13152862]
"There's discussion out there whether some Canadian banks might fall under this new bank tax in the United States," said Gareth Watson, an equity advisor at ScotiaMcLeod.
The financial sector also came under pressure as JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote) reported deep fourth-quarter loan losses that raised concerns about earnings for the broader sector. [.N]
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was down 1.1 percent at C$55.12, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) sank 1.2 percent to C$63.54.
At 12:53 p.m. (1753 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 115.74 points, or 0.98 percent, at 11,688.64.
Elsewhere, fertilizer producer Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) sank 4 percent to C$64.24.
On Thursday, CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N: Quote) withdrew its hostile bid to buy rival U.S. fertilizer maker Terra Industries Inc TRA.N, bringing their year-long battle to an end, while Agrium continued its efforts to buy CF. [ID:nN14179782]
($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)
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