UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks fall, overpowered by profit-taking

Fri May 23, 2008 5:30pm EDT
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*Index takes back some losses but still ends lower

*Resources hit by profit-taking following run-up

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index trimmed some earlier losses but still ended lower on Friday, knocked down as investors locked in profits following the index's recent surge to record highs.

Resource shares stumbled even though oil and gold prices pushed higher. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) was among the biggest decliners by weight, giving up C$2.40, or 1.2 percent, to C$194.40, while in the oil patch, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was down C$1.48, or 1.5 percent, at C$100.62.

The energy and materials sectors slid 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. The subindex of gold producers, which had managed to hold on to gains earlier in the week, dipped 0.1 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) was off 42 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, at C$41.53.

"I think we had a nice rally over the last two or three months, which has pulled back a little bit, (but) I think we've seen that happen globally," said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.

"Toronto has held in reasonably well because of oil and resources, as usual. That's really been the impetus that's helped it out over the last little while."   Continued...