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By Leah Schnurr
TORONTO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pared losses but still capped the week with another drop on Friday, in a four-day plunge that has rattled the market amid deepening worries of a recession south of the border.
The index logged another 10-month closing low in broad-based declines after a White House plan to boost the U.S. economy failed to calm skittish investors.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 58.51 points, or 0.46 percent, at 12,737.12, making for a loss of close to 1,000 points over just four days. Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups were lower.
“It’s not really a question of whether we have a slowdown or a recession, the question is for how long and how deep,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc., in Vancouver.
“We’ve got a moving market here, we’ve got to let some dust settle down.”
The bruised financial sector gave up 1 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) was down 64 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, at C$54.01, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) fell 65 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, to C$45.87.
The heavyweight sector has been hit by worries over continuing fallout from the subprime mortgage mess, amid massive writedowns from financial institutions on both sides of the border.
Resource issues were lower, with the energy and materials sectors both down 0.2 percent. The sectors have been badly beaten up by worries of lessening demand during a possible economic slowdown.
The utilities sector lost 1.9 percent, while the industrials group was off 1.1 percent.
The steep correction has wiped out all of the gains the index made last year. It gave up a total of 6.6 percent over the week.
In Friday’s see-saw session, the TSX retreated from early gains after U.S. President George W. Bush called for an economic stimulus package worth up to $150 billion in tax cuts and other measures to reign in the economy.
“Once the political machine takes over, it’s going to take some time for all that to unravel,” said Mastracci. “From the time that they announce it to the time it’s actually ready to go, I think it’s going to be a little longer than most people would like.”
In individual moves, DundeeWealth Inc DW.TO tumbled as the mutual fund manager said it had ended the special committee which its board formed last November to look at unsolicited expressions of interest. DundeeWealth closed down C$1.60, or 10.5 percent, to C$13.62.
Kinross Gold (K.TO) said it expects production to rise by as much as 25 percent in 2008, while costs should climb slightly before easing through the year. The gold miner finished down 49 Canadian cents, or 2.3 percent, to C$20.95.
Market volume was 431 million shares worth C$8.3 billion. Decliners outpaced advancers 1,051 to 553. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed down 1.90 points, or 0.25 percent, at 745.21.
On Wall Street, Bush’s rescue plan also disappointed investors, and helped reversed an earlier advance after strong earnings from General Electric GEA.N and IBM (IBM.N).
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 59.91 points, or 0.49 percent, to 12,099.30, and the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 6.88 points, or 0.29 percent, at 2,340.02.
Editing by Renato Andrade