CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends losses as financials take hit

Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:25am EDT
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*TSX down 0.2 percent at 12,023.83

*Financial sector leads index lower

*Energy up on firmer oil, Athabasca IPO (Adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market extended losses on Wednesday morning as weak banking shares offset gains for energy and material producers.

Financial shares were down 0.7 percent despite better than expected January domestic gross product data, which showed Canada's economy continued to grow at a fast clip. [ID:nN31434455]

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), the country's biggest lender, lost almost 1 percent to C$59.17, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) dropped 0.7 percent to C$75.51.

Energy stocks softened the fall a bit. Athabasca Oil Sands Corp said on Tuesday it will raise at least C$1.35 billion ($1.34 billion) in North America's biggest initial public offering so far this year, a sign investor interest in Canadian oil sands assets has rebounded. [ID:nN30177984]

The index's energy sector was up 0.3 percent, helped also by firmer oil prices. [O/R] Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's biggest oil company, added 0.2 percent to C$32.97.   Continued...