CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index ends down for second straight day

Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:19pm EDT
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* TSX slides 51.95 points to 8,797.44

* Lower oil prices rattle energy shares

* Weak bond auctions drags on sentiment (Adds details, comments and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed lower on Wednesday as a slide in oil prices shook the weighty energy sector while disappointing debt auctions rattled U.S. stocks and hurt sentiment in Canada.

Oil prices fell after U.S. data showed crude stocks were at their highest since 1993, which sparked a selloff in the energy stocks that make up about 22 percent of Toronto's key index.

Shares of EnCana Corp ECA.TO fell 2.5 percent to close at C$53.12, while Nexen Inc NXY.TO shares tumbled 4 percent to end the session at C$20.41.

Also weighing on investor sentiment was an auction that showed weak demand for the U.S. Treasury's five-year notes. Britain saw its first failed government debt auction since 2002. [ID:nLP365058] and [ID:nLP365058]

"The markets came out of the gate a little strong and when there was no follow through in the morning, that coupled with weak Treasury auctions and people started to take profits," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.   Continued...