December 13, 2007 / 5:17 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks fall further as miners tumble

(Updates to midday with analyst comment)

By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index fell more than 160 points on Thursday, as soft commodity prices combined with displeasure over a plan by central banks to relieve global money markets.

The prospect of weaker U.S. demand undercut metal prices, sending the TSX metals and mining subsector down 3.8 percent, on track for its biggest daily drop in nearly a month.

Shares of Telus Corp (T.TO) also tumbled — 86 Canadian cents to C$43.30 — even as Canada’s No. 2 phone company said it expects revenue and profits to grow next year. For details, see: [nN13207263]

“Telus has been very successful, but obviously it hasn’t been gaining new mobile phone users as rapidly as Rogers or even (BCE Inc’s (BCE.TO) unit) Bell,” said Gavin Graham, chief investment officer at Guardian Group of Funds.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 164.96 points, or 1.2 percent, at 13,644.42 at midday with all 10 main sectors in the red.

Gold firms and banks led the fall, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) down 84 Canadian cents at C$51.40 and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) down C$1.22 at C$39.17.

On commodities exchanges, spot gold was down about $17 an ounce while U.S. crude futures tumbled $1.95 to $92.44 a barrel.

The influential TSX financials and energy sectors both dipped, by 1.1 and 0.5 percent respectively. The industrials group fell 1.1 percent.

Disappointment appeared to linger over a plan, revealed on Wednesday, by Canadian, U.S., British and other European central banks to deal with drying up money markets.

That sentiment weighed on European markets, while U.S. stocks also dipped.

Elsewhere, MDS Inc MDS.TO missed expectations and said a shutdown of a Canadian nuclear reactor that makes medical isotopes could hurt its future results. For details, see: [nN13265421]

MDS stock was off 30 Canadian cents at C$19.19.

The TSX index has declined 0.3 percent so far in December.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Rob Wilson

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