CANADA STOCKS-TSX nudges 6-week low as China doubts hit oils

Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:52am EST
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* S&P/TSX composite falls 0.37 percent to 11,311.95

* Energy shares lead way lower, gold offsets

* Uptick in U.S. consumer confidence helps pare TSX losses (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower on Tuesday morning with energy producers pulled down by a drop in oil prices as doubts grew about the robustness of Chinese demand.

The price of oil slipped below $75 a barrel after China implemented another clampdown on lending on Tuesday, which knocked the index's energy group down 1 percent, the steepest fall among the index's 10 main groups.

Shares of some of the country's big banks and insurers, were once again caught in a downdraft after a brief respite on Monday. The financials sector has fallen in five of the last six sessions. It was off 0.15 percent at midmorning.

But U.S. data that showed consumer confidence rose for the third consecutive month in January helped the index pare earlier deeper losses that had taken it to its lowest point since Dec. 9. [ID:nN26357538]

Top heavyweight decliners included Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), down 1.3 percent at C$34.66, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), down 1.15 percent at C$69.51. EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) fell 1.1 percent to C$34.00.   Continued...