UPDATE 1-Resources drag Toronto stocks lower

Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:32am EDT
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TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index remained weak on Tuesday amid falling gold and energy prices and as investors paused to assess the market's recent bull run.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's resource-laden S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 62.09 points, or 0.4 percent, at 14,023.76, after dropping as low as 13,983.97 earlier in the day.

"The TSX was just so overstretched that it needed to consolidate. "It had such a huge move that it needs to pull back a little bit," said Julie Brough, assistant vice-president at Morgan Meighen and Associates.

"There isn't enough confidence in this market to continue to drive it higher. It's been based solely on the oil prices and on the commodities."

Six of the TSX index's 10 main groups were lower, led by a 0.4 percent drop in the influential energy group and a 2.4 percent fall in the resource-heavy materials group.

Energy shares, which account for about 30 percent of the overall index, dropped as the price for U.S. crude oil retreated 1.6 percent to $116.84 a barrel on a firming U.S. dollar and the resolution of a strike at a British refinery.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), slipped 89 Canadian cents to C$82.80 and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) fell C$1.18 to C$114.32.

Meanwhile, Petro-Canada PCA.TO rose 90 Canadian cents to C$51.03 after its first-quarter profit jumped 82 percent, while Nexen Inc NXY.TO climbed 23 Canadian cents to C$36.84 as strong oil and gas production from its Buzzard field in the North Sea helped boost profit about 400 percent.   Continued...