CANADA STOCKS-TSX hit hard by TD warning, oil price

Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:34am EST
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* Index hits lowest level since December 2003

* Losses accelerated by sliding oil

* TD announces credit trading losses, stock down

* Teck drops 32 percent on cost cut plans

TORONTO, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fell nearly 6 percent on Thursday morning to its lowest level since December 2003 as the price of oil slid and the financials group was weighed down by an earnings warning from Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO.

Shortly after 10:15 a.m., the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 500.39 points, or 5.9 percent, at 7,990.17. All 10 sectors were in the red.

The financials group dropped 8.7 percent as Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO said that C$350 million in after-tax credit trading losses will eat into fourth-quarter earnings. TD, Canada's second-largest bank, lost 7.3 percent to C$46.27.

The energy sector was down 7.6 percent as oil fell towards $50 a barrel, deepening losses from the previous four sessions as battered financial markets reflected crumbling confidence in the world economy and evidence mounted of falling fuel demand. [ID:nSP424057]

Teck Cominco TCKb.TO sank more than 34 percent to C$3.40 as the diversified miner announced first steps in its debt reduction plan, which include suspending its dividend.

The diversified miner also cut budgeted capital expenditures, sold its stake in the Lobo-Marte gold property, and said it will reduce zinc production at its Trail, British Columbia, complex. The measures announced amount to C$2.4 billion. [ID:nWNAB5804]

($1=$1.28 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Peter Galloway)