TSX slides for second day as oil price tumbles

Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:10pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell for a second day in a row on Wednesday as oil and gold prices tumbled and U.S. data added to fears of a weak economic recovery.

The energy sector, which accounts for about 22 percent of the TSX index, was the biggest drag, falling 2.77 percent after U.S. data showed an unexpected rise in crude inventories, which triggered the biggest slide in the price of oil since April.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was the biggest influential decliner, shedding 4.1 percent to C$33.32, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was not far behind with a 2.74 percent drop to C$61.75.

Talisman Energy TLM.TO fell 4.8 percent to C$16.27, following the general direction of the broader market, after it reported an 85 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Another key strain on the index came from the mining-laden materials sector, which fell 1.74 percent, hurt by a dive in prices for gold and other base metals.

Teck Resources TCKb.TO fell 3.98 percent to C$25.32, while Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) was 1.41 percent at C$35.75.

"I'm actually surprised the TSX is not down even more than it is given that crude oil is off more than $4 on the day," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver, British Columbia. "It does speak to the resiliency of the market and I also think volumes are a little light."

He described the selloff as "orderly, not panicky."   Continued...