UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks hit hard by RIM selloff

Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:47am EDT
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(Updates to midmorning)

*TSX slides in broad decline

*RIM falls sharply after profit outlook falls short

*Financials down on U.S. writedown worries

TORONTO, June 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fell broadly on Thursday, hit by a sharp selloff in Research In Motion RIM.TO as well as weakness in banking shares due to worries of more U.S. writedowns.

Shares of BlackBerry-maker RIM set the tone early in the session after the profit outlook it released on Wednesday fell short of what analysts had expected.

RIM dropped C$17.69, or 12.3 percent, to C$126.31. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company posted quarterly earnings that more than doubled, but also came just short of the Street's expectations. RIM said it expects second-quarter earnings of 84 to 89 cents a share, a penny lower than the 90 cents analysts were expecting.

"This is the thing about the Toronto market," said Keith Summers, chief investment officer at Stonegate Private Counsel. "It's so dominated by a handful of stocks, that we get one and that'll be enough to move it significantly."

The financial sector was dragged down by persistent worries over the impact of the credit crunch after Goldman Sachs warned of possible writedowns at Citigroup (C.N: Quote) and Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N.   Continued...