(Adds details on specific stocks, investor comment, updates prices)
* TSX down 166.22 points, or 1.06 percent, to 15,483.32
* Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups move lower
* Energy group down 2.5 pct, financials off 1.8 pct
TORONTO, April 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell sharply on Thursday as its heavyweight banking and energy sectors took heavy losses, with oil prices weighing and an alternative lender’s troubles putting the domestic housing market in focus.
Home Capital Group Inc said it had hired bankers to help it secure additional funding and size up its strategic options, as the subprime lender reported a further sharp decline in its assets amid a security regulator’s probe into its disclosures.
Its shares popped 13.9 percent to C$6.82, offsetting some of Wednesday’s 60 percent plunge, but the broader financial group - which accounts for a third of the index’s weight - fell 1.8 percent.
“People are concerned that maybe this is the tip of the iceberg for the housing market,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.
Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s biggest bank, fell 1.8 percent to C$93.77, while Toronto-Dominion Bank lost 1.6 percent to C$64.70 and Bank of Nova Scotia shed 2.9 percent to C$75.20.
Canada’s federal housing agency said on Wednesday that Toronto still faces price acceleration, overvaluation and overheating. Ontario’s provincial government earlier this month set a tax on foreign buyers amid a host of measures designed to cool Toronto prices.
At 11:16 a.m. ET (1516 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 166.22 points, or 1.06 percent, to 15,483.32.
The energy group - which account for another 20 percent of the index’s weight - retreated 2.5 percent as oil prices fell on news that two key oilfields in Libya had restarted, pumping crude for export into an already bloated market.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell 3.9 percent to C$43.30 and Encana Corp also shed 3.9 percent, to C$14.15.
Canada’s largest oil and gas company, Suncor Energy Inc advanced 0.4 percent to C$41.78 after reporting better-than-expected profit.
Fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan advanced 2.7 percent to C$23.27 after reporting a beating profit expectations and upping its full-year outlook.
Its rival and planned merger partner Agrium advanced 2.6 percent to C$129.64.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
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