UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks drop 1 pct, commodities weigh

Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:18am EST
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TORONTO Jan 16 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index pared some losses in morning trading on Wednesday amid bargain hunting in the financial sector, but was still down more than 1 percent as materials and energy issues tumbled.

Battered after a 381-point plunge on Tuesday, the TSX dipped as much as 150 points when trading began, in the wake of bearish commodity prices.

But the financial sector, the biggest by weighting, clawed back and was up 0.3 percent, mitigating some of the earlier losses, as investors scooped up bank stocks offering value after Tuesday's fall.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 161.99 points, or 1.2 percent, at 13,154.79 in brisk trading.

Eight of the index's 10 main sectors were in the red.

Leading the fall, fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was off C$3.83 at C$142.00 while Blackberry-maker Research In Motion RIM.TO tumbled C$2.75 to C$89.60.

The materials and energy sectors, down 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, were undercut by commodity prices that declined across the board.

Fears of a recession in the United States, Canada's biggest trading partner, stoked fears that demand would soften for Canada's key commodity exports.   Continued...