August 11, 2008 / 8:45 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks slide as commodity prices fall

(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

*TSX index falls 1 percent as commodity prices drop

*Cardiome slumps after FDA requests more information

TORONTO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index slid 1 percent on Monday, pulled down by resource shares, which fell in tandem with commodity prices.

Drug maker Cardiome Pharma COM.TO was among the biggest drags on the index, losing 17.7 percent after the company said U.S. regulators had requested more information on its Kynapid treatment for a potentially fatal heart condition.

In the materials sector, shares of gold producers tumbled as they were rattled by a sharp drop in gold prices as the U.S. dollar gained. Gold slumped to below $820 an ounce, and shares of Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest gold miner, were down 6.4 percent.

“They definitely look like they’re oversold, but I would say the market sentiment is still very negative, so I think they still have room to go down,” said Laura Lau, senior portfolio manager at Sentry Select Capital Corp, of resource shares.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 138.55 points, or 1.04 percent, at 13,203.19 with seven of its 10 main sectors in negative territory.

The small health sector led the way down, shedding 6.3 percent as Cardiome dropped C$2.28 to C$10.57. Cardiome and its Japanese co-development partner, Astellas Pharma Inc (4503.T), said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had completed its review of their application for approval of the Kynapid treatment but requires more information before making a decision.

The materials group, home to mining companies, fell 4.7 percent as prices for gold and other metals weakened. Barrick was down C$2.40 at C$35.00, while Teck Cominco TCKb.TO lost C$1.92, or 4.7 percent, to C$39.32.

Fertilizer shares also lagged, with Agrium AGU.TO falling C$3.96, or 4.7 percent, to C$79.94, and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO giving up C$11.44, or 6.3 percent, to C$171.55.

On the earnings front, shares of Manitoba Telecom Services MBT.TO slipped after the company reported a lower quarterly profit even as it cut costs and had growth in some of its services. MTS closed down 57 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, at C$40.69. ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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