Toronto stocks open lower as bank results eyed

Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:10am EDT
 
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TORONTO Aug 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index opened lower on Tuesday in choppy activity, pulled down by a slump in financials as investors study quarterly results from the country's biggest banks including Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote).

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 25.98 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13,262.41, with seven of the 10 main groups lower, after briefly rising into positive territory.

The heavyweight energy sector was up 0.7 percent as oil rebounded to above $116 a barrel as concerns emerged about possible supply disruptions related to Hurricane Gustav. EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) rose 1.4 percent to C$76.22.

Materials, home to resource stocks, rose 0.2 percent on a slightly higher gold price. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) added 1.1 percent to C$35.55.

The financial services sector slipped 1.2 percent with Bank of Montreal, Canada's fourth largest bank, down 2.3 percent at C$43.05.

Bank of Montreal, the first big Canadian bank to report third-quarter results, said net profit slipped 21 percent, as provisions for credit losses surged and it took charges for the declining value of certain credit-related securities.

Results from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) are also expected on Tuesday.

Also weighing on the market was Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO: Quote), down 6.8 percent at C$8.20, as the number of deaths rose to 12 out of 26 confirmed cases of food poisoning outbreak linked to deli meats produced at one of its plants. ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Scott Anderson)