CANADA STOCKS-TSX slides as financials fall on US report

Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:36pm EDT
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* TSX falls 0.83 percent to 11,442.02

* Bank, insurers drop with U.S. financials after downgrade

* Gold shares reverse despite firmer gold price (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index slid hard late in the day on Wednesday as bank and insurance shares fell on a U.S. analyst's report and as profit-taking hit gold-mining shares despite higher gold prices.

Banks and insurers in Toronto tracked U.S. financial stocks, which were hit by a late-day selloff after an influential analyst recommended selling Wells Fargo stock. [ID:nWNAB2127]

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO led all decliners, dropping 1.65 percent to C$64.20, followed by Manulife Financial MFC.TO, off 2.5 percent at C$21.80. Four other banks and insurers were among the top 10 heavyweight decliners.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 96.10 points, or 0.83 percent, at 11,442.02, its first significant drop in a week. All 10 main sectors fell.

The main index has traded without much conviction recently as investors have tried to reconcile mixed earnings reports and economic indicators from Canada and the United States, a stronger Canadian dollar, and commodity prices that have pushed higher. The TSX is up 53 percent since March.   Continued...