UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks slide along with key commodities

Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:47am EDT
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TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index headed lower on Wednesday morning as falling commodities prices took a toll on gold and other resource stocks.

A rebounding U.S. dollar knocked the wind out of spot gold and crude oil prices, which helped to depress the resource-heavy Canadian benchmark.

Adding to the downside momentum, data showed retail sales unexpectedly fell in February, a sign that the Canadian consumer may be retreating amid an overall economic slowdown. For details, see: [nN23473096]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 103.76 points, or 0.7 percent, at 14,162.58.

The materials group fell 1.4 percent, with its gold subsector off 1.7 percent. Barrick Gold ABX.TO, the world's leading gold producer, fell 90 Canadian cents to C$42.30.

The energy sector was led lower by Suncor Energy SU.TO, down C$2.97 at C$118.10.

Elsewhere in the oil patch, Precision Drilling Trust PD_u.TO fell C$1.07 to C$25.92 after it delivered a lower capital spending forecast. See: [nN23409891]

In the heavyweight financial sector, which dipped 0.4 percent, Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was down 24 Canadian cents at C$47.79. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Peter Galloway)