* TSX down 163.90 points at 11,353.64
* Energy shares, off 3 pct, lead decline
* Weak U.S. home sales data also a drag (Adds details and comments)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index retreated broadly on Thursday as a slide in oil prices knocked energy shares lower and weak U.S. home sales data hit other shares.
Notable among falling oil companies were Suncor Energy (SU.TO), off 3 percent at C$37.01, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), down 3.8 percent at C$72.09.
The index’s energy group dropped 2.5 percent as the oil price fell below $68 a barrel in an extended response to Wednesday’s U.S. weekly oil data, which showed increases in crude stocks. [O/R]
At 10:45 a.m. (1445 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 221.48 points, or 1.9 percent, at 11,296.06. In early trade, it had risen as much as 35 points.
All 10 of the TSX’s sectors were down at midmorning.
The drop comes a day after the TSX reached its highest level in nearly a year, touching 11,648.55.
“The pullback in crude oil is the dominant factor,” said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics. “Plus we made a fresh uptrend high for the TSX composite so I think the market is consolidating recent gains.”
Financial shares gained at the open in a move that Smith said was tied to news that Canada is set to extend a program to buy insured mortgages, which is designed to aid banks. [ID:nN24442287]
But financials then turned firmly into negative territory, down 1.5 percent, along with all other sectors in response to U.S. data that showed an unexpected fall in sales of previously owned U.S. homes in August. [ID:nN24411383]
Shares of Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) were down 2.8 percent at C$22.06, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was off 1 percent at C$68.07.
($1=$1.08 Canadian) (Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway)