* Energy, golds lead TSX drop as resource prices fall
* Financials pressured by British bank bailout (Adds details, official numbers, analyst’s comments)
By Natalie Armstrong
TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed moderately lower on Monday as weakness in commodity prices pulled down energy and gold-mining issues.
As well, continuing concerns about the health of the banking industry weighed down the index’s financials group.
The energy sector fell 2.02 percent as the price of oil lost more than $2 to end at $34 a barrel on Monday after Russia and Ukraine ended a dispute over gas supplies and a cease-fire took hold in Gaza.
“You’re seeing less of a war threat in the oil price right now and it’s back to the fundamentals of the business, which is supply and demand,” said Brian Pow, vice president, research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners, in Calgary, Alberta.
“With recession or potential recession in the U.S., demand will probably continue to fall, which means it’s just going to push prices down.”
The materials group lost 1 percent as the price of gold dragged gold miners down.
Losses in materials were cushioned by gains made by fertilizer company Agrium Inc (AGU.TO), which was up 1.1 percent to C$42.50.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 78.92 points, or 0.88 percent, at 8,841.38. Four the TSX’s 10 sectors ended lower.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day ahead of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the new U.S. president.
Financial issues also hurt the Toronto index, falling 1.7 percent on banking concerns as Britain launched a multibillion-pound rescue plan for its banks. [ID:nLJ676404]
$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Natalie Armstrong; editing by Peter Galloway