UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks plunge almost 7 percent on bailout vote

Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:17pm EDT
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* Toronto stocks fall 6.7 pct as U.S. bailout vote starts

* Financials drop as bank jitters spread (Recasts with plunge in TSX; Adds details)

TORONTO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index tumbled almost 7 percent on Monday, the most since early 2001, as U.S. lawmakers began voting on a $700 billion bailout of the financial services sector.

While the U.S. House voted on the Wall Street rescue plan, concerns mounted that the fallout from the crisis in the United States was spreading rapidly around the globe.

"This is yet another Black Monday," said John Ing, president at Maison Placements Canada.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 800.64 points, or 6.6 percent, to 11,325.36. In the span of about five minutes alone, 300 points were erased.

It marked the biggest intraday percentage drop since February 2001.

Later the TSX recovered some lost ground but plunged anew after lawmakers in Washington rejected the rescue package. For links to more stories, see [ID:nN22402709].

Markets were also on tenterhooks as European authorities set up several bank rescue operations on Monday, including a plan to partly nationalize Fortis NV FOR.BR [ID:nLS357697]. In the United States, Citigroup Inc C.N, the largest U.S. bank, moved to acquire the bulk of Wachovia Corp WB.N [ID:nLT436737].   Continued...