CANADA STOCKS-Resources drag Toronto index lower

Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:30am EST
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* Energy sector starts to track oil price decline

* Bank of Montreal profit up, stock off early highs

* Several miners suspend ops, sending shares lower

* U.S. Fed to buy housing-related securities

TORONTO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index eased on Tuesday in choppy trading as the energy group caught up with a decline in the price of oil and as enthusiasm dissipated for a U.S. Federal Reserve aid package designed to help bolster consumer lending.

The Fed's package includes a $600 billion program to buy mortgage-related debt and securities and a $200 billion facility to buy consumer debt securities. [ID:nN25255949]

The news temporarily outweighed the effect of sliding oil prices, which often drive the resource-heavy TSX's direction.

Energy issues had a delayed reaction to the drop in oil prices. The sector was down 1.4 percent, as the crude fell to nearly $51 a barrel, unraveling the previous session's rally of nearly 10 percent. [ID:nSP128607]

"Commodities are bouncing around. Oil is taking a bit of breather, pulling back, and gold is flattening out. These are two things that basically lead the Canadian market," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.   Continued...