May 13, 2008 / 3:19 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks drop on profit-taking, resources

* Toronto stocks retreat from record high

* Materials and energy shares lead decline

* Financials and telecommunications cushion the blow

(Adds details)

TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index retreated on Tuesday as weak commodity prices and profit-taking knocked it off the record high it hit on Monday.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 79.17 points, or 0.5 percent, at 14,586.90 at midmorning. Earlier in the session it fell as low as 14,553.06.

On Monday the index ended up 144.88 points at a new closing high of 14,666.07 after reaching a record high of 14,695.75.

“It’s all profit-taking today,” said Peter Byrne, a trader at Dundee Securities. “I don’t know if you’re going to see a dramatic move down, but you will see some money off the table for now.”

Seven of the TSX index’s 10 main groups were lower, led by a 2 percent drop in the commodities-heavy materials group and a 1.1 percent fall in the big energy group.

U.S. crude oil was off 0.2 percent at $123.95 a barrel after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for world oil demand growth and investors took profits after a rally to record highs.

Most of the market’s top energy companies were lower, including EnCana (ECA.TO), which fell 81 Canadian cents to C$91.39, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), which slipped 57 Canadian cents to C$63.41.

Weaker precious metals prices hurt the materials index. Gold slipped to $864 an ounce because of the strength of the U.S. dollar and other currencies. Platinum dropped more than 2 percent after rising to its highest level in almost two months on Monday on speculative buying following the launch of U.S. platinum exchange-traded notes.

Among the decliners, gold producer Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) was off C$1.56 at C$64.74, and Goldcorp (G.TO) dropped C$1.30 to C$38.36.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO dropped C$2.57 to C$199.18, and Agrium Inc AGU.TO fell C$1.89 to C$85.00.

Uranium producer Cameco (CCO.TO) dropped 96 Canadian cents to C$39.32 despite reporting a first-quarter profit that more than doubled.

A 0.1 percent lift among financial shares and a 0.4 percent rise among telecommunication stocks tempered the losses.

BCE (BCE.TO) climbed 75 Canadian cents to C$38.85 as it inched closer to the closing of its C$34.8 billion buyout that will see the country’s biggest telecommunications company taken private.

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Peter Galloway

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