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: Quote) 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: Quote), 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...