UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks hit by RIM, US bailout uncertainty

Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:47pm EDT
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* TSX index plunges more than 400 points

* RIM retreats 28 percent after softer forecast

* Energy shares fall along with oil price

* Uncertainty surrounds U.S. bailout proposal (Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes

TORONTO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index slumped more than 3 percent on Friday, battered by a selloff in Research In Motion, tumbling resource shares and uncertainty over the U.S. financial rescue plan.

Tech bellwether RIM RIM.TO set the tone as it skidded 28.2 percent to C$72.57 the day after the BlackBerry-maker said its profit will lag expectations as it spends money on developing a new generation of smartphones. For details see: [ID:nN26288076].

The heavyweight energy sector added to the pressure, sliding along with oil, which was hurt by worries over the bailout package. Among the losers, Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO fell 4.3 percent to C$80.56.

Uncertainty over the fate of the $700 billion bailout proposal rounded out the negative sentiment, as did the seizure of U.S. savings and loan Washington Mutual WM.N, the biggest bank failure in U.S. history. See: [ID:nLQ501615].

"I think it's encapsulated by one word more than anything else, and the word is 'uncertainty'," said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president of Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.   Continued...