CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as swine flu rattles sentiment

Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:14am EDT
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* TSX index down 70.02 points at 9,324.78

* Swine flu concerns weigh on sentiment

* Lower oil and gold prices also drag on TSX (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was lower on Tuesday morning, pulled down by a mix of lower oil prices, fears about the stability of the U.S. financial sector, and pressing concerns about swine flu.

The energy sector was down 0.9 percent as oil prices fell on expectations of a further drop in demand as well as a decline in profit at Petro-Canada PCA.TO. [ID:nN27537864] [ID:nN28348138]

Shares of Petro-Canada were off 0.75 percent at C$37.30, while shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which is in the process of taking over Petro-Canada, were down 1.5 percent at C$30.00.

New Zealand and Israel confirmed cases of swine flu on Tuesday to become the latest countries hit by the virus, which has killed 149 people in Mexico. [ID:nLS803449] Canada issued a travel advisory warning against nonessential travel to Mexico.

The materials sector, home to gold-mining stocks, led all sectors lower with a 2 percent fall and was a key drag on the index as bullion dropped 2.5 percent on technical selling. [ID:nLS545488]   Continued...