Toronto stocks pulled lower by banks

Mon Mar 3, 2008 3:36pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index tumbled late in the afternoon on Monday as a sharp decline in the banking sector offset gains in resource shares.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 104.90 points, or 0.77 percent, at 13,477.79 with all but three of its 10 main sectors in negative territory.

The heavyweight financial sector led the way down, shedding 2.9 percent, on expectations of weak quarterly results for the banks.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) was down C$1.60, or 3.2 percent, at C$48.10, continuing recent downward momentum after it warned it might have to write down its remaining C$495 million exposure to two troubled asset-backed commercial paper trusts.

Bank of Montreal, Canada's fourth-largest bank, is set to report quarter results on Tuesday.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell C$2.10, or 3.2 percent, to C$63.80, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) gave up C$1.85, or 2.8 percent, to C$64.94.

The consumer staples group lost 1.1 percent, while the tech sector fell 2.1 percent, with Research In Motion RIM.TO down C$4.36, or 4.3 percent, at C$98.17.

On the upside, the gold producers subindex jumped 3 percent as the price of gold moved closer to $1,000 an ounce. The larger materials group, which houses resource shares, was up 1.1 percent.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) climbed C$1.23, or 2.4 percent, to C$52.43. and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) added C$1.95, or 2.9 percent, to C$69.95.   Continued...