February 18, 2009 / 4:14 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX sags to 2009 low in broad-based retreat

* TSX down 2.04 percent at 8,207.50

* Index touches 8,138.98, its lowest level in 2009

* Telecoms down 2.3 pct as Rogers slumps after results (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell broadly on Wednesday morning, hitting a 2009 low, pressured by weak resource and financial issues, while telecoms sagged after Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO) reported a quarterly loss.

Heavily weighted sectors on the downside included financials, which fell 2.8 percent, and materials, which dropped 1.3 percent. The energy group retreated 2.2 percent.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) fell 3.1 percent to C$49.70, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) retreated 1.6 percent to C$46.45.

The telecom sector was down 2.3 percent as Rogers shed 6.8 percent to C$32.00. The media and communications company said it swung to a quarterly loss as it took almost C$300 million in impairment charges on its conventional television business to reflect the impact of the weak economy. [ID:nN18418432]

The market also came under pressure a day after General Motors Corp (GM.N) and Chrysler LLC [CBS.UL] submitted restructuring plans and requested nearly $22 billion in additional U.S. government loans. [ID:nSP396962] nLH623622

“The news of GM and Chrysler overflows into Canada,” said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.

“The amount of money they’re asking for is huge and we don’t know if that really solves the problem.”

The financial services sector, down 3.2 percent, also remains under pressure as concerns over the health of the global banking sector persist. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) fell 3.7 percent to C$27.10.

“People are frightened,” said Masionis.

At 10:33 a.m. (1533 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 171.20 points, or 2.04 percent, at 8,207.50, with all of its 10 main sectors in the red. At one point, the index dropped to 8,138.98, its lowest level in 2009.

The drop follows a retreat of nearly 3.5 percent on Tuesday, as a string of reports fanned concerns about global recession and the health of the banking industry.

Also on Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled a plan to help stabilize the troubled U.S. housing market. [ID:nN17400254]

Masionis said he didn’t expect the plan to help the market rebound from its slump.

“There’s so much money being throw at all these things and people want instantaneous results, and these things will not be instantaneous,” he said.

$1=$1.26 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson

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