Toronto stocks open lower on financials

Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:57am EDT
 
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TORONTO Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index opened lower on Monday, pulled down by the heavyweight financial sector as persistent concerns over the U.S. credit crisis weighed.

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 36.10 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,411.19, with eight of its 10 main groups lower.

Financials led the way lower, slipping 1.3 percent, on nagging concerns over the health of the U.S. financial sector. Adding to fears, bank regulators closed Columbian Bank and Trust Company late on Friday. It is the ninth U.S. bank to fail this year, hit by the weakening economy and falling home prices.

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, which is due to report third-quarter results later this week, slipped 1.2 percent to C$45.45.

The heavyweight energy sector was up 0.2 percent, as oil held steady around $115 a barrel, after falling more than 5 percent on Friday, the biggest one-day drop since 2004. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 1 percent to C$87.48.

Materials issues gained 1.3 percent, as gold fell on a strengthening U.S. dollar, while some base metals sagged on a recovery in the dollar and profit-taking.

Goldcorp G.TO rose 1.3 percent to C$35.52, while Barrick Gold ABX.TO was up 1.2 percent at C$36.75. ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Scott Anderson)