December 5, 2008 / 3:43 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps on oil prices, job losses

* Energy sector down 4.4 pct as oil slides below $43

* Canada loses 70,600 jobs in Nov., sharpest since ‘82

* RBC sags after reports lower quarterly profit (Adds quotes, details)

TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was down more than 2.5 percent on Friday morning as resource issues dropped on lower commodity prices and as the economic outlook darkened on figures showing steep job losses in Canada and the United States.

The big energy and materials sectors fell 4.4 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, as oil CLc1 dropped below $43 a barrel on grim U.S. jobs data, while gold and base metals were also lower.

The big tumble in the price of oil has hit the resource-heavy Toronto market hard, said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

“Forty dollar oil means a good part of the oil patch doesn’t make very much money and I think analysts had expected oil to rally, bounce, and as oil goes to new lows it definitely has hurt a very big part of the TSX index,” said Ing.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) sank 3.4 percent to C$48.15, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 5.7 percent to C$38.65.

Among the gold miners, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) fell 8.9 percent to C$30.15, while Kinross Gold (K.TO) slipped 8.6 percent to C$15.90.

At around 10:15 a.m. (1515 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 211.86 points, or 2.63 percent, at 7,845.96, extending losses to a fifth straight session. Earlier, the market turned positive but quickly lost steam.

Weighing on investor sentiment was jobs data from both sides of the border.

Canada registered 70,600 job losses in November, the most in any month since June 1982, fueling expectations of a big interest rate cut next week and likely adding spark to the parliamentary crisis in Ottawa. [ID:nN05253705]

In the United States, employers slashed payrolls by an unexpectedly high 533,000 in November, data showed. [ID:nHKG345012]

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) fell 2.3 percent to C$36.30 after Canada’s biggest bank said its quarterly profit fell 15 percent as higher loan loss provisions and previously announced securities losses pushed down results. [ID:nN05276999] ($1=$1.30 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)

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