December 24, 2008 / 2:59 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens lower on weak oil, gold prices

(Adds details)

TORONTO, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was lower on Wednesday morning as weak gold and energy prices weighed on the market.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 33.27 points, or 0.4 percent, at 8.278.64. The market will close at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Wednesday ahead of Christmas Day.

Energy issues, which were off 1.9 percent, led the way down as the price for U.S. crude oil slipped 3.4 percent to fall under the $38 a barrel mark.

Among heavyweight energy shares falling were EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), down 2 percent at C$51.04, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), which was off 2 percent at C$21.71.

Gold-mining shares were also weaker, falling 1.6 percent, as the price for the precious metal edged lower to settle around $838.55 an ounce. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest producer, was off 2 percent at C$40.50, and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) dropped 2 percent to C$34.66.

The key telecommunications index helped offset some of the losses, rising 0.8 percent. Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO) was up 2.3 percent at C$35.07, and Cogeco Cable (CCA.TO) added 1.6 percent to C$32.50.

$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Peter Galloway

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