CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index hit again by falling oil

Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:48am EDT
 
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* Toronto index follows pattern of losses worldwide

* Energy issues under pressure as oil falls

* Manulife drags financials lower, analyst cuts target (Adds details)

TORONTO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was 1.8 percent lower on Monday morning, falling with other stock markets around the world as recession fears heightened, and hit again by falling prices for oil and other Canadian-produced commodities.

Japan's Nikkei stock index fell to a 26-year low on Monday and equity markets elsewhere in Asia and Europe dropped on fears that further coordinated action to calm markets may not be enough to fend off a global recession. [MKTS/GLOB] U.S. stocks gained briefly on a surprise increase in new home sales. [ID:nN27433980]

Toronto's oil and gas sector fell 3.4 percent. Oil prices were down at around $63 a barrel after hitting a 17-month low. [ID:nSYD351781] EnCana ECA.TO was among the big net loss decliners, down 4.1 percent at C$53.36.

The materials sector was off 1.3 percent as gold's appeal was dented by a surging U.S. dollar [ID:nLR559793]. Agnico-Eagle Mines AEM.TO lost 6.4 percent to C$31.71.

"We're following the markets in New York and Europe and trading down because of oil," said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"Those two things are dragging it down a bit today but not as bad as it was last week. It's kind of a muted down day I think."   Continued...