June 20, 2008 / 2:52 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks slide as financials sag

(Updates to midmorning)

* TSX dips in see-saw session

* Resources gain as oil prices climb

* Financials fall amid credit crunch jitters

TORONTO, June 20 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index see-sawed around the break-even mark on Friday, weighed down by sagging financials, which offset early morning gains as the price of oil rebounded from a sharp selloff.

Financials helped pull the benchmark lower as the group was shaken by worries over more problems to come for U.S. banks in the wake of the credit crunch.

“The U.S. financials are still getting beaten up; they’ve still got a little bit of a ways to go,” said Andrew Martyn, portfolio manager at Davis-Rea.

“My concern there is they continue to show losses and can’t find ways to plug their balance sheet — that’s the big problem.”

But resource issues cushioned the decline, buoyed by a rise in oil of more than $4 amid changing opinion that China’s fuel price increase could boost rather than dampen demand.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 25.86 points, or 0.17 percent, at 14,764.29 by midmorning, with eight of its 10 main sectors lower. The index reached a session high of 14,854.44 shortly after the opening bell.

The energy and materials sectors were the lone groups on the upside, rising 0.6 percent and 1 percent respectively. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 97 Canadian cents, or 1.6 percent, at C$63.30, while in the materials group, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO gained C$3.39, or 1.4 percent, to C$239.75.

Financials gave up 1.2 percent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) off C$1.33, or 2.1 percent, at C$62.17, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) slipped 65 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, to C$65.75.

The consumer discretionary and staples sectors fell 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent each the day after data showed inflation jumped in May. Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO fell C$1.40, or 2.4 percent, to C$55.99, and George Weston (WN.TO) dipped 71 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, to C$49.45.

Shares of Bombardier (BBDb.TO) rose 21 Canadian cents, or 2.8 percent, to C$7.68 after the plane and train maker said it had secured an order for 110 Learjet 60 XR aircraft, of which 25 are firm orders and the rest are conditional. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson)

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