UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks end flat as banks offset oils

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:03pm EDT
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* Financials sell off after Morgan Stanley profit plunges

* Energy shares rise as oil futures add 2 percent

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO, June 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index finished flat on Wednesday as investors sold off financial shares, offsetting stronger energy issues, which gained on higher commodity prices.

Three of the 10 main index groups finished higher, including the heavyweight energy and materials sectors, which added 1.03 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

However, financials were a drag, shedding 1.14 percent, as investors found reason to worry after profits plunged at U.S. investment banking giant Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote).

"The financials are sort of struggling here, so those that want to invest in the market are putting money into the proven winners," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, referring to shares of oil firms and gold producers.

Among finance decliners, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell C$1.20, or 1.7 percent, to C$67.61. Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO: Quote) shed 74 Canadian cents, or 1.61 percent, to C$45.09.   Continued...