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TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index slid broadly on Monday afternoon, pulled lower by tumbling resource shares and concern over the health of the U.S. economy.
Energy and materials shares led the way, down 2 percent and 3.4 percent respectively, with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) down C$2.39, or 2.3 percent, at C$102.95 and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) falling 84 Canadian cents, or 2.2 percent, to C$37.72.
The energy group’s slide mirrored oil’s retreat, as crude fell $1.13 to $90.14 a barrel on the possibility that OPEC could decide to raise crude output when it meets in February.
The price of gold came back from earlier declines, but the gold subsector remained off 4 percent.
Worries over rising inflation in the U.S. also weighed on the Canadian index as investor expectations of further interest rate cuts were dampened.
“The sneeze is now giving everyone a cold,” said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd., in Calgary.
“We saw it in the international markets overnight, and it’s generally carrying on.”
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 251.98 points, or 1.8 percent, at 13,422.25 with all of the TSX’s 10 main groups in negative territory.
In the United States, markets fell on jitters over the housing slump’s impact on the economy.
On the TSX, the heavyweight financial sector lost 1.2 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) down C$1.65, or 2.3 percent, at C$70.85, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) off 41 Canadian cents, or 0.8 percent, to C$51.16.
The small tech sector gave up 2.2 percent, dragged down by Research In Motion RIM.TO, which fell C$5.56, or 5.2 percent, to C$102.20.
Elsewhere, Quebecor World IQW.TO shed 24 Canadian cents, or 13.8 percent, to C$1.50 after its chief executive resigned amid concerns over the company’s financial liquidity.
$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Rob Wilson