CANADA STOCKS-Market battered by commodity slide

Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:59pm EDT
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* Energy issues hit as oil falls below $67 a barrel

* Materials drop as gold, base metal prices slide

* Worries about results, outlooks weigh on investors. (Adds analyst quotes, details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index closed nearly 6 percent lower on Wednesday as resource issues sank along with commodity prices on concerns that a global economic slowdown will slash demand.

The decline adds to Tuesday's 4.4 percent loss as the threat of recession battered commodity prices across the board.[ID:nLM267609]

The resource-laden materials group swooned 11.1 percent as gold futures fell to their lowest in over a year and base metal prices retreated. Miner Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) was down nearly 25 percent and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) fell more than 7 percent.

The big oil and gas sector declined 9.1 percent as oil prices dropped anew on rising U.S. fuel inventories. [ID:nN22382017]. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) set the pace with an 11 percent decline.

Worries over corporate results also dominated as the quarterly reporting season got under way. Investors are waiting to see if companies on both sides of the borders are meeting estimates or if they are guiding market expectations lower.   Continued...