UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks drop on weakness in financials

Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:55pm EST
 
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 (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)