UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks fight back, end moderately lower

Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:44pm EDT
 
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* Bargain-hunters pull TSX back from 560-point drop

* Materials sector down 7.8 pct, oil group rebounds 2 pct

* TSX is down 26 percent since Sept. 25

(Updates closing numbers, adds details)

TORONTO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fought back from a 560-point loss on Thursday to close only moderately lower as bargain-hunting took hold.

In erratic dealings, the TSX seesawed in a trading range of 670 points from peak to trough and in the end extended Wednesday's steep losses only slightly.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 53.88 points, or 0.58 percent, at 9,269.97, with half of its 10 main groups lower. Earlier in the day the index tumbled 562.83 points, or 6 percent, to 8,761.02, its lowest level since November 2004.

The heavily-weighted materials sector kept the index in the red as gold and base metals prices tumbled on fears a global recession would hit demand. [ID:nL1449620]

Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) fell 10.9 percent to C$24.75, while Inmet Mining IMN.TO dropped 8.4 percent to C$23.25. Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) tumbled 5.9 percent to C$87.00.

Oil and gas stocks, which had been lower through most of the day, staged a comeback and closed 2 percent higher despite oil's $4.69 slide to $69.85 a barrel. [ID:nSP376169] EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) rose 5 percent to C$46.50.

The composite index has been on a roller-coaster ride, surging 9.8 percent earlier this week after falling 16 percent last week. It is down 26 percent since Sept 25. ($1=$1.18 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway)