March 10, 2008 / 8:30 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks plunge 275 points on credit worries

TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index tumbled more than 275 points to its lowest level in about a month on Monday as renewed credit worries weighed on the minds of investors.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 276.63 points, or 2.08 percent, to close at 13,005.09 in a broad-based selloff.

“This credit problem rears its ugly head at least twice a week now and I think people are getting more and more nervous,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities in Toronto.

“I think it’s just simply more of the same.”

The index plunged more than 300 points before recovering slightly late in the day. Still, all but one of its 10 main groups finished in the red.

Telecoms were the lone bright spot, where BCE Inc (BCE.TO) racked up gains after a Quebec court approved its C$34.8 billion buyout by private-equity investors and dismissed claims by bondholders who alleged the deal was unfair.

BCE rose C$1.92, or 5.4 percent, to end at C$37.72 while the sector added 0.26 percent as a whole.

Meanwhile, the heavyweight energy and materials groups lost 1.59 percent and 4.23 percent, respectively. Financials shed 2.25 percent.

Kinsey said one way to ride out the plunge that equity markets have been experiencing in recent weeks could be to keep a significant percentage of one’s portfolio in cash.

“I think that you don’t want to stand in an avalanche,” he said. “You move to the sidelines.”

$1=$1 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson

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