UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks dragged lower by weak resources

Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:42pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

* TSX slips as resource sectors falter

* Energy shares pulled down by sagging oil prices

* Nexen falls after disappointing quarterly profit

TORONTO, July 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index slipped lower on Thursday as a strong showing from financials was offset by resource shares that were hit by another sharp drop in oil prices.

Oil fell by $5.31 to below $129.29 a barrel amid worries over dampening demand in the United States, as well as easing tensions between Iran and the West.

The drop in oil -- which is still up nearly 30 percent for the year -- battered Bay Street's heavyweight energy group, sending it down 3.2 percent.

"It's apparent that the U.S. is really responding pretty negatively to what's going on," said Brian Pow, vice-president of research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary, referring to the still-high energy prices.

"People are really tightening their belts."   Continued...