December 17, 2007 / 9:47 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks dive, led down by resources

(Updates with official closing numbers, adds detail)

TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index closed broadly lower on Monday amid a sharp selloff by resource issues and persistent worries over the health of the U.S. economy.

The materials sector led the fall, shedding 3.8 percent. The group was pulled lower by gold miners, despite a bounce in the price of the commodity.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) fell 89 Canadian cents, or 2.3 percent, to C$37.67 and Centerra Gold (CG.TO) was down 47 Canadian cents, or 4.1 percent, at C$10.98, while the gold subsector lost 4.5 percent.

The energy group declined alongside the price of oil, which was hurt by the prospect that OPEC could decide to raise output when it meets in February.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) retreated C$2.52, or 2.4 percent, to C$102.82, while the sector lost 1.9 percent.

On the upside, Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO) gained 44 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, to C$43.53 after the company said it has finalized terms with Newfoundland to allow Husky to expand its White Rose offshore oil field.

Growing fears of inflation in the United States also weighed on the Canadian index and dampened investor expectations of further interest rate cuts.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 287.12 points, or 2.1 percent, at 13,387.11 with all of the TSX’s 10 main groups in negative territory.

It was the third session in a row that the index has ended lower and the biggest one-day drop since the end of October.

Heavyweight financial shares gave up 1.3 percent, rattled by the gloomy economic sentiment. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) slid C$1.74, or 3 percent, to C$56.37 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) fell C$1.88, or 2.6 percent, to C$70.62.

The tech sector slid 3 percent, dragged down by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO, which fell C$6.74, or 6.3 percent, to C$101.02.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Rob Wilson

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