UDPATE 2-Toronto stocks slammed by oil slide, economic woes

Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:58pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

* TSX plunges more than 2 percent

* Resources hurt by weak oil, worries over demand

* Banks plagued by economic and credit crunch fears

TORONTO, July 15 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index plunged more than 380 points on Tuesday as resource issues were hit by weak oil prices, while worries over the global economy battered the wider market.

After logging a hefty intraday drop of more than 3 percent, the benchmark briefly halved its losses in the late afternoon, before retreating again to close at its lowest level in nearly two weeks.

The price of oil sank more than $6 to $138.74 a barrel as growing anxiety about the U.S. economy's health raised questions about world economic growth and demand for crude.

The sharp fall hit Bay Street's heavyweight energy sector, which lost 4.2 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO down C$5.29, or 5.5 percent, at C$91.55.

Worries about demand for commodities also hurt the resource-heavy TSX's miners and fertilizer companies, which were all among the biggest laggards by weight.   Continued...