UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks drop on weakness in financials
(Updates with official closing numbers, adds details)
TORONTO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended lower on Tuesday after a choppy session as sliding financial shares, hit by renewed worries about the credit crisis, prompted a broad-based decline.
The index's financial sector fell 0.7 percent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) dropping C$1.85, or 2.5 percent, to C$72.29, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) sliding 39 Canadian cents, or 0.8 percent, to C$50.71.
The fall came after Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote), the biggest U.S. securities firm, said it was cautious about its near-term outlook even though it reported earnings that topped forecasts. This stirred fears of further fallout linked to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and resulting credit squeeze.
Fueling concerns over the financial sector, an investor committee trying to create a fix for the asset-backed commercial paper market missed last Friday's deadline to announce details of a repair plan.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) said on Monday that while it was willing to consider steps to help repair the third-party ABCP market, it didn't believe that it should shoulder a burden it didn't create.
On the upside, the materials group managed a 0.3 percent gain, despite worries that a economic slowdown could dampen demand for resources.
Kinross Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) rose 36 Canadian cents, or 2.2 percent, to C$16.54, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) gained 54 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, to C$38.21, helped by an advance in gold prices.
The benchmark S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 29.04 points, or 0.22 percent, at 13,358.07 with eight of the TSX's 10 main groups in negative territory.
It was the fourth day in a row the index has declined and extends Monday's sharp 287-point drop.
The industrials sector fell 0.6 percent, while Transcontinental Inc (TCLa.TO: Quote) TCLb.TO slid after reporting lower fourth-quarter profit. The commercial printer ended down 65 Canadian cents, or 3.7 percent, at C$16.80.
In other news, BioMS Medical Corp MS.TO jumped 37.8 percent, or C$1.02, to C$3.72 after it signed a global licensing and development agreement with Eli Lilly (LLY.N: Quote) for its multiple sclerosis compound. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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