CANADA STOCKS-TSX down 2.4 percent as energy and banks weigh

Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:05am EDT
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* TSX down 230.77 points at 9,206.88

* Energy and financial shares headline fall

* TSX coming off sixth straight week of gains (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was sharply lower on Monday morning as falling oil prices pulled down its energy sector, while concerns about the health of U.S. corporate earnings weighed on investor sentiment.

The energy group was rattled as the price of oil fell more than 5 percent, while the heavyweight financial sector dropped after Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote) reported a profit that relied heavily on one-time items. [ID:nN20380236]

Shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) were down 7.3 percent at C$29.00, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was off 6 percent at C$53.95.

"Just a general bad tone prior to the open ... oil is off based on the U.S. influence and the concern about the global economy," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.

"And banks are off on Bank of America. Their earnings were not as strong as the market had expected and so some people believe Canadian banks have gone too far too quickly."   Continued...