Toronto stocks extend hefty losses for 4th day

Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:23pm EST
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index pared losses but still capped the week with another drop on Friday, in a four-day plunge that has rattled the market amid deepening worries of a recession south of the border.

The index logged another 10-month closing low in broad-based declines after a White House plan to boost the U.S. economy failed to calm skittish investors.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 58.51 points, or 0.46 percent, at 12,737.12, making for a loss of close to 1,000 points over just four days. Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups were lower.

"It's not really a question of whether we have a slowdown or a recession, the question is for how long and how deep," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc., in Vancouver.

"We've got a moving market here, we've got to let some dust settle down."

The bruised financial sector gave up 1 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) was down 64 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, at C$54.01, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) fell 65 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, to C$45.87.

The heavyweight sector has been hit by worries over continuing fallout from the subprime mortgage mess, amid massive writedowns from financial institutions on both sides of the border.

Resource issues were lower, with the energy and materials sectors both down 0.2 percent. The sectors have been badly beaten up by worries of lessening demand during a possible economic slowdown.   Continued...