CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2009 low as banks and energy shares drop

Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:40am EST
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* TSX turns lower after rising at open

* Financial and energy shares lead selloff

* TSX slide follows 273-point fall on Wednesday (Adds details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell on Thursday to its lowest point this year as nagging concerns about a drop in oil demand weighed on the resource heavy index while influential banking shares also tumbled.

The financial sector, which accounts for about 33 percent of the index, relinquished early gains and turned 1.6 percent lower on news that Bank of America is close to getting billions of dollars more in federal aid.

Shares of Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the biggest drag on the index, fell 2.3 percent to C$34.04, while Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO shares dropped 1 percent to C$43.53.

"Bank of America needs government help for their Merrill Lynch takeover so that puts all of the financials into question ... as well as some investments that banks have made here in Canada," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.

"But general sentiment has been a little disappointing. We had the nice rally early in the year and it's all of a sudden dying ... so it's not a very nice feeling out here."   Continued...