March 19, 2008 / 1:46 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks open lower on weak commodities

TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index fell early on Wednesday, lead lower by energy and material stocks that were hit by weak commodity prices.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 32.32 points, or 0.25 percent, at 13,104.38 shortly after the market opened.

The price of gold tumbled along with base metals, crude oil and natural gas as commodity investors weighed the prospects of a U.S. recession and a slowing global economy.

The TSX materials group — the best performer so far this year — slipped 2.2 percent while the energy group fell 0.8 percent.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest producer, was down C$1.77 at C$47.51.

Financial stocks such as Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) led the upside as the financial sector gained 1.8 percent.

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson

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