Toronto stock index opens lower as financials weigh

Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:05am EDT
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TORONTO Aug 29 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index opened lower on Friday, pulled down by technology and financial stocks as thin trading was expected ahead of the Labour Day long weekend.

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 46.66 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,703.82, after rising the two previous sessions. Seven of the 10 main groups were lower.

Technology and financial stocks led the laggards, down 0.9 percent and 0.2 percent.

The heavily-weighted financial sector logged big gains this week on the back of quarterly results from Canada's Big Six banks. Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO fell 0.5 percent to C$62.22.

Resources were choppy with the key energy sector down 0.1 percent and materials flat.

Oil rose on concerns Tropical Storm Gustav would hurt gas and oil installations in the U.S. Gulf, while the price of bullion firmed and base metals slipped.

In the oil sector, EnCana Corp ECA.TO fell 0.2 percent to C$78.99.

In materials, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO rose 1 percent to C$188.19, while Agrium AGU.TO climbed 0.4 percent to C$88.38.

In economic news, Canada's economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.3 percent in the second quarter, Statistics Canada said on Friday, narrowly avoiding the common definition of a recession as demand for its exports waned.

Gross domestic product shrank 0.8 percent in the first quarter. [nN29254034] ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Scott Anderson)