UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks slide on commodities slump

Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:57am EDT
 
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TORONTO Aug 15 (Reuters) - Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was sharply lower on Friday morning, as a slump in commodity prices hit energy and materials stocks.

Oil slipped to below $113 a barrel on faltering global demand and rising supply, sliding further from its record above $147 in July.

Gold also took a thumping, sagging below $800 an ounce, as a strengthening U.S. dollar and a sluggish global economy hit demand.

"Commodities are weak on the prospect of a global slowdown," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

Commodities are also getting hit because of a strengthening U.S. dollar and as speculators liquidate their long positions in oil and gold, Campeau added.

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 216.34 points, or 1.6 percent, at 13,142.57, with most of its 10 main groups lower.

The key energy sector slipped 2.9 percent with EnCana Corp ECA.TO down C$2.70, or 3.7 percent, at C$70.40.

The materials sector, home to resource shares, fell 3.5 percent. Kinross Gold K.TO dropped 71 Canadian cents, or 4.3 percent, to C$15.89, while Agnico-Eagle AEM.TO slipped 5 percent to C$51.18.   Continued...