November 17, 2008 / 3:50 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index slides on gloomy economic outlook

* Oil above $58 a barrel, fails to lift energy sector

* Sentiment weak as Japan falls into recession

* PetroCan defers decision on Fort Hills mine, stock up

TORONTO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index fell hard on Monday as gloomy sentiment from a deteriorating world economy outweighed the rising price of oil.

Sentiment was shaky on news that Japan’s economy joined Europe by slipping into recession [ID:nSP354083], and as the weekend’s meeting of the world’s major governments produced few concrete stimulus steps. [ID:nN16647523]

Shortly after 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 149.90 points, or 1.66 percent, at 8,906.06. All but one of the index’s main 10 groups were in the red.

The influential oil and gas group failed to benefit from the climbing price of oil, which rose above $58 a barrel after it earlier closed in on it its lowest in about two years.

The energy sector was down 0.9 percent. Petro-Canada PCA.TO was up 0.4 percent at C$25.87 as it said Fort Hills Energy L.P. would defer the final investment decision on the mining portion of the Fort Hills project until 2009 as they seek to set a cost estimate consistent with current market conditions. [ID:nBNG339338]

UTS Energy Corp UTS.TO, which also holds a stake in the project, dropped 10 percent to 82 Canadian cents. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Frank McGurty)

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