CANADA STOCKS-TSX plunges to 5-year low on oil, TD warning

Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:48pm EST
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* Index drops 9 pct to lowest level since Nov 2003

* Financials tumble 12.2 percent on bank warnings

* Oil falls below $50 a barrel on recession fears (Adds quotes, details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Toronto Stock Exchange's main index sank to its lowest level in five years on Thursday as an earnings warning from Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO pounded the financials group and the price of crude slid below $50 a barrel.

The heavily-weighted financials group plunged 12.2 percent, pulled lower by TD Bank, which announced it would take after-tax charges of C$350 million for credit-trading losses. Earlier this week, Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO said it would take after-tax charges of C$595 million. [ID:nN20398511]

TD Bank sank 12.7 percent to C$43.57, while Scotiabank fell 13.3 percent to C$30.54.

All the other big Canadian banks had steep losses as worries mounted of more charges to come. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO dropped 13.5 percent to C$35.65, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO was down 12.5 percent at C$42.28.

Heavyweight insurer Manulife Financial MFC.TO tumbled 14.8 percent to C$17.86.   Continued...