CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower as financials, Potash Corp fall

Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:08pm EDT
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* TSX ends down 21.34 points at 11,424.61

* Financial shares headline latest retreat

* Energy shares help cushion overall drop

* Potash Corp drops 1.6 percent (Adds details and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rallied off a one-week low but still closed lower for a third straight session on Monday as investors avoided commitments ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week.

The index's heavily weighted financials group led the latest slide as investors opted to avoid big positions, possibly until Wednesday, when the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to hold interest rates unchanged at near zero percent.

Shares of insurer Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), the biggest drag on the index, closed down 1.8 percent to C$22.37, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell 0.9 percent to C$67.95.

The index's fall was limited as some big energy stocks pushed higher on hopes of higher prices for oil and natural gas down the road.   Continued...