UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks pulled lower by weak resources

Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:04pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details)

* TSX ends lower but trims earlier losses

* Resource shares retreat as commodity prices fall

* CP Rail sags after it cuts earnings guidance

TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index finished lower on Tuesday, but trimmed earlier steep losses as a rise by financials offset a drop by resource issues that were hit by tumbling commodity prices.

The resource sectors led the downside and helped take the index down more than 1 percent in the morning, with energy shares hit by a six-week low for oil prices as fears over a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico eased.

The energy group fell 2.5 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) down 4.2 percent and EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) off 3.6 percent.

A decline in gold miners helped knock the materials sector down 2.2 percent, as the price of bullion was sharply lower due to weaker oil prices and a stronger U.S. dollar.

But the financial sector offered support, despite falling earlier after U.S. bank Wachovia WB.N posted a record quarterly loss, as investors looked instead to recent better-than-expected results from other U.S. financials.   Continued...