June 24, 2008 / 8:46 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks yanked sharply lower by resources

(Refiles to fix typo in headline) (Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

* TSX slumps more than 280 points or nearly 2 percent

* Energy sector leads slide amid demand concerns

* Consumer shares hurt by worries over spending outlook

TORONTO, June 24 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index shed nearly 2 percent on Tuesday, dragged down by skidding resource issues amid investor concerns over the long-term prospects for oil demand.

A see-saw session for crude prices provided scant support for the benchmark, as oil finally settled up 26 cents at $137.00 a barrel amid worries over supply disruptions in Nigeria and increasing tensions between Israel and Iran.

On Bay Street, the energy sector tumbled 3.2 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) falling C$3.60, or 3.5 percent, to C$100.10 and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) down C$3.67, or 5.7 percent, at C$61.31.

“I think the anticipation is that there will be some sort of drop in demand,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president of KCM Wealth Management Inc. in Vancouver.

Mastracci also noted that there is still a disconnect between energy stocks and the price of oil, as the sector’s shares have not risen as quickly, or as high as the commodity.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 282.22 points, or 1.92 percent, at 14,409.60 with all 10 of its main sectors lower.

The materials sector was down 2.1 percent. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was the biggest net loser, down C$9.90, or 4.1 percent, at C$229.99. Fellow fertilizer producer Agrium AGU.TO fell C$5.48, or 4.8 percent, to C$108.60.

The consumer discretionary and staples groups gave up 1.1 percent and 1.4 percent respectively, amid persistent concerns over what impact the domino effect of high energy prices will have on consumers’ appetite for spending.

Crystallex International KRY.TO was the biggest percentage gainer on the TSX, spiking 66.2 percent after it said Venezuela was reconsidering the denial of the mining permit for its Las Cristinas gold deposit. Crystallex stock closed up 43 Canadian cents at C$1.08. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson)

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