UDPATE 3-Toronto stocks hammered by oils, economic worries

Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:37pm EDT
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* TSX plunges more than 2 percent

* Resources hurt by weak oil, worries over demand

* Banks plagued by economic and credit crunch fears

By Leah Schnurr

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 5.5 percent.   Continued...