UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks down on energy, Maple Leaf

Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:25am EDT
 
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* Banks dip on credit jitters, ahead of results

* Maple Leaf slumps amid C$20 mln meat recall

* Precision Drilling to buy Grey Wolf in $2 bln deal (Adds details)

TORONTO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fell more than 100 points on Monday morning, dragged down by the heavyweight energy and financial sectors, while Maple Leaf Foods MFI.TO tumbled amid a recall of meat products linked to a food-poisoning outbreak.

Activity in the energy sector was choppy, but by midmorning the group was down 1.4 percent as the price of oil remained below $115 a barrel in choppy trade Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO fell 1.3 percent to C$85.45.

Financials also weighed, slipping 1 percent, on nagging concerns over the health of the U.S. financial sector as Lehman Brothers LEH.N remained under the spotlight as a possible acquisition target.

Adding to fears, bank U.S. 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.

"Market sentiment right now is banks are not making as much money as they used to," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal. "All Canadian banks are releasing earnings this week so you will see very choppy trading today."

By midmorning, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 116.51 points, or 0.9 percent, at 13,330.78, with eight of its 10 main groups lower.   Continued...