Toronto stocks dragged lower by BCE concerns

Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:43am EDT
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TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index slipped early on Wednesday, with shares of BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) knocked lower amid speculation a buyout for the telecom firm was on shaky ground.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 15.28 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,306.94, with eight of its 10 main groups in the red.

BCE -- Canada biggest telecom company and the target of a C$34.8-billion takeover by a consortium led by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan -- was down C$1.34 at C$35.35.

The telecom sector tumbled 1.1 percent and the financial sector fell 1.3 percent.

On the upside, energy firms rose 0.9 percent and materials producers added 0.8 percent amid a general rise in commodity prices.

($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson)