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: Quote), 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: Quote), 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: Quote) was down 24 Canadian cents at C$47.79. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Peter Galloway)