CANADA STOCKS-Flu fears hit TSX, resources lead drop

Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:40pm EDT
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* TSX index falls 1.6 pct, breaks four-session rally

* Fears of a global swine flu pandemic grow

* Resource stocks hit hardest (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 27 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell 1.6 percent on Monday, breaking a four-session rally, as fears of an international swine flu outbreak rattled commodity prices, dampening hopes for an economic recovery.

Resource-related issues, which make up about 40 percent of the overall TSX index, were hit hardest by worries that the already-fragile world economy could be further damaged if a swine flu outbreak in Mexico turns out to be the start of a global pandemic. [ID:nLR259704]

The oil and gas sector dropped 2.4 percent as the price of oil fell more than 2 percent to above $50 a barrel, partly because of worries the flu outbreak could cut back on air travel.

EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) was the top energy player that dragged on the index, falling 2.53 percent to C$53.88.

The materials group lost 2 percent. Even typically safe-haven gold stocks came under pressure as the price of the precious metal slipped as the firmer U.S. dollar prompted profit-taking. [ID:nLR139073]   Continued...