UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks hit new high, then turn tail

Tue May 20, 2008 10:26am EDT
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(Adds details)

* TSX hits new high, then retreats

* Energy shares lead

* BCE drops on worries over buyout

TORONTO, May 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index briefly rose beyond the 15,000-point mark for the first time on Tuesday, but then fell into negative territory as worries over the future of the buyout of BCE Inc BCE.TO overshadowed record high energy prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 23.84 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,008.04, before turning lower. At midmorning it was down 54.36 points, or 0.4 percent, at 14,949.84.

The market was closed on Monday for Canada's Victoria Day holiday.

"Mondays are generally slow and this is a Monday on a Tuesday, so we're starting out slow," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "Oils have a bid but everything else is mixed and we're still sorting out a theme."

Seven of the TSX index's 10 main groups were lower, led down by a 1.5 percent drop in the telecommunications group and a 1 percent fall among materials issues.   Continued...