CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index off nearly 2 pct at midday

Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:12pm EST
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* Oil above $58 a barrel, fails to lift energy sector

* Tech sector lone bright spot on broadly lower index

* Sentiment weak as Japan falls into recession

TORONTO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was down nearly 2 percent late on Monday morning as gloomy sentiment from a deteriorating world economy outweighed the rising price of oil.

Sentiment was shaky on news that Japan's economy joined Europe's by slipping into recession [ID:nSP354083], and as the weekend's meeting of the world's major governments produced few concrete stimulus steps. [ID:nN16647523]

Shortly after 11:30 a.m. (1630 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 169.49 points, or 1.87 percent, at 8,886.47. All but one of the index's 10 main groups were in the red. That added to last week's 5.6 percent slide, its weakest showing since Oct. 10.

"There's continued negative sentiment from Friday. Nothing really has changed. The G20 meetings didn't offer anything in terms of substantive positive news for markets," said Andrew Pyle, wealth advisor at ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ontario.

"I think, right now, market participants are convinced that we'll probably witness yet another major leg down in the major industries before we get to the elusive bottom."

The influential oil and gas group failed to benefit from a rising oil price, which rebounded above $58 a barrel after sliding close to its lowest level in about two years.   Continued...