December 3, 2008 / 3:56 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls on weaker commodities; Nexen slumps

* Energy sector slumps 4 pct as oil flat ahead of data

* Nexen tumbles 16 pct after takeover speculation wanes

* Materials sag 4 pct as gold, base metals fall

* RIM tumbles 2.4 percent after profit warning (Adds quote, details)

TORONTO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday morning as resource issues fell along with commodity prices to lead a broad-based retreat, with Nexen Inc NXY.TO down steeply as takeover speculation ended.

The energy sector was down 4 percent as oil slipped below $47 a barrel ahead of weekly inventory data. Nexen, which has been at the center of takeover speculation by Total SA (TOTF.PA) and the most heavily traded stock on the market, slid 16.4 percent at C$19.96.

According to a Times of London report, Total had dropped the idea of a bid for Canada’s No. 4 independent oil explorer. [ID:nWEA7872]

“The major individual story of the day is Nexen. There had been some pretty persistent rumors that the France-based Total would make an offer for Nexen,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.

“That sort of set the tone for the energy sector as a whole”

Shortly after 10:10 a.m. (1510 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 185.80 points, or 2.23 percent, at 8,142.01, with all of its 10 main groups lower.

Also contributing to the slide was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO, which was down 2.4 percent at C$45.36 after cutting its third-quarter profit and revenue forecasts. [ID:nL3134327]

RIM also said on Wednesday it plans to make a direct takeover offer for Certicom Corp (CIC.TO) at C$1.50 a share. [ID:nN03317482]

The resource-laden materials group sank 4 percent as gold and base metal prices retreated. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) fell 3.9 percent to C$33.29.

The financial group, which makes up about a third of the key index, eased 0.4 percent with Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) down 2.3 percent at C$19.44.

$1=$1.26 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson

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