* TSX down 1.97 percent at 8,781.90
* Materials drop 3.1 percent on weak metals
* Tembec falls 18.6 percent; curtails operations
(Adds details, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index pulled back on Tuesday after surging more than 5 percent in the previous session, led down by weakness in resource issues on slumping commodity prices.
The biggest contributors to the index’s slide included a mix of commodity issues and financials stocks, the main drivers of the market’s recent rise.
“We’ve had, to state the obvious, quite a run over the past two weeks or so and I think you’re having just a natural selling that you get inevitably in these sorts of situations,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.
“It’s two steps forward, one step back. It’s very seldom a V-shape.”
At 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 176.61 points, or 1.97 percent, at 8,781.90, with nine of its 10 main groups lower. The utilities sector eked out a 0.32 percent gain.
The index had its highest close in six weeks on Monday.
Materials, down 3.1 percent, led the resource-laden market lower as the price of bullion and base metals drooped. Goldcorp (G.TO) was down 4.6 percent at C$39.90, while Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO) fell 0.8 percent to C$100.51.
Oil and gas stocks sagged 3 percent as oil retreated to around $52.50 a barrel after a 3 percent surge in the previous session. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) pulled back 4.6 percent to C$29.33.
Financials sagged 1.4 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) down 1.4 percent at C$37.41.
Elsewhere, Canadian forest products company Tembec (TMB.TO) announced a temporary curtailment of operations in the Kapuskasing region in Ontario, affecting about 510 employees at its sawmill, newsprint and forestry operations. [ID:nN24326319] Tembec shares fell 18.6 percent to 70 Canadian cents.
HudBay Minerals Inc (HBM.TO) rose 0.2 percent to C$5.81. Late on Monday the company said its board of directors resigned and will be replaced by a slate put forward by dissident shareholder SRM Global Master Fund. [ID:nN23299874]
Issues gaining on Tuesday included Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO), which climbed 1.3 percent to C$30.73, and BCE (BCE.TO), up 1.6 percent at C$23.71. ($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)