February 20, 2009 / 9:40 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Weak oils, financials drag TSX to 2009 low

* TSX at 7,949.99, lowest closing level since Nov 20

* Index down 8.4 percent for the week

* Energy and financials sectors both drop 5 percent (Adds details, quote)

TORONTO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell broadly on Friday to its lowest closing level in 3 months, as the heavily weighted energy sector sank on falling oil prices and the financials group retreated on worries over the U.S. banking sector.

The financial sector fell 5 percent, swept up by fears that some major banks could be nationalized. [ID:nN20201566] In Canada, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) was down 9.5 percent at C$13.12, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was off 3.1 percent at C$27.07.

“The weakness you’re seeing on the financial stocks are largely being driven by, once again, the weakness south of the border,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

“That’s clearly spooking investors because that would pretty much wipe out any value for equity investors in those stocks.”

The big energy group sank 5 percent as oil CLc1 settled lower at $38.94 a barrel, hit by persistent concerns about the worsening economic outlook. [ID:nSIN420478] Suncor Energy (SU.TO) sank 7.5 percent to C$22.15.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 235.36 points, or 2.88 percent, at 7,949.99, with nine of its 10 main groups lower. The index shed 8.4 percent for the week.

On the upside, the materials group gained 1 percent as bullion pierced the $1,000 an ounce level on Friday for the first time since last March, boosted in part by tumbling world markets as investors sought a safe haven. [ID:nLK128829]

Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 2.3 percent to C$40.02 and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) climbed 0.4 percent to C$46.08.

$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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