August 13, 2008 / 1:50 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks lower on financials, health stocks

TORONTO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index opened lower on Wednesday, weighed down by the financials and health-care stocks. But investors awaited U.S. crude oil inventory data for further market direction.

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 35.90 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,131.10, with seven of its 10 main groups down.

The financial sector slipped 1.3 percent with shares of home and auto insurer ING Canada Inc IIC.TO, down 0.7 percent at C$38.45. The company said profit fell 42 percent in the second quarter as weak equity markets hurt investment gains and severe weather knocked underwriting income.

Health care stocks fell 1.1 percent with Biovail Corp BVF.TO down 2.8 percent at C$10.21. Biovail Corp reported a quarterly loss, hurt by restructuring charges and legal and proxy contest costs.

Energy and materials were up 0.24 and 1.7 percent, respectively, as oil nudged up to around $114 a barrel and gold also firmed.

Investors will also keep an eye on the price of oil as the inventory data is due later in the morning. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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