* TSX down 197 points, or 1.6 percent, at 11,054.87
* Greek bailout referendum, MF Global drag
* Index’s financial, energy sectors fall more than 2 pct (Adds details, analyst’s comments)
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was sharply lower late on Tuesday morning but off the steep lows it hit just after the open as global markets staggered on news that Greece will hold a referendum on the hard-won euro-zone bailout package.
A Greek vote against a 130 billion euro rescue package could result in a disorderly default on the country’s debt and hamper efforts to stop the euro zone’s debt woes from spiraling into a global crisis. [MKTS/GLOB]
“We’re back to the uncertainty of where we are and where we’re going, and when you have that the markets are going to vote with their feet,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice president and director at Canaccord Wealth Management in Toronto.
“Until we get something clear, that’s definitive, then we’re not going to get out of the range, upside or downside.”
Also pushing down markets was Monday’s bankruptcy announcement by U.S. futures broker MF Global MF.N, and data that showed an unexpected slowdown in Chinese manufacturing.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 197.32 points, or 1.6 percent, at 12,054.87 late on Tuesday morning after falling as low as 11,913.72, its lowest point in nearly two weeks, shortly after the open.
All of the index’s 10 main sectors were negative, led by financial and energy stocks, which both dropped more than 2 percent.
Among financial shares, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) led the sector’s 2.5 percent drop, falling 2.8 percent to C$47.28. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) fell 2 percent to C$51.51, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was down 2.6 percent at C$73.25.
The energy sector was down more than 3 percent as oil prices slipped in the face of a stronger U.S. dollar. [O/R]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO), down 3.8 percent at C$30.54, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), down 3.8 percent at C$33.83, were two of the biggest drags.
Base metals mining shares fell more than 5 percent, pulling down the heavily weighted materials sector by 1.8 percent. In that group, fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO fell 2.4 percent to C$46.06, and diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO was down more than 6 percent at C$37.25.
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)