Toronto stocks fall on weaker oil, metals prices

Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:46pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto stocks finished a strong week on a losing note on Friday, retreating on the back of sagging oil and metals prices, with losses offset partly by stronger financial issues.

A 5.4 percent drop in oil prices -- the biggest drop since 2004 -- yanked the TSX's heavily-weighted energy subgroup down 2.35 percent, while weaker prices for metals such as copper and gold dragged the materials group down 2.34 percent.

The retreat followed two days of strong gains for the index after it hit a five-month low on Tuesday.

"I think the market is trying to establish maybe a short-term bottom, but struggling to do so," said Douglas Davis, president of Davis-Rea in Toronto.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 91.93 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 13,447.29. For the week, it rose 2.7 percent. The blue-chip S&P TSX 60 index eased 6.12 points, or 0.76 percent, to finish at 804.02.

Among energy issues, Talisman Energy TLM.TO fell 4.1 percent to C$18.42, while Husky Energy (HSE.TO: Quote) eased 3.7 percent to finish at C$46.67.

On the materials side, Yamana Gold (YRI.TO: Quote) dropped 5.3 percent to C$11.37, while Iamgold (IMG.TO: Quote) eased 4.9 percent to C$6.27.

All told, 274.1 million shares changed hands, valued at C$4.6 billion, while declining stocks outnumbered advancers 787 to 636.   Continued...

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>