(Updates to midmorning)
*TSX slides in broad decline
*RIM falls sharply after profit outlook falls short
*Financials down on U.S. writedown worries
TORONTO, June 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index fell broadly on Thursday, hit by a sharp selloff in Research In Motion RIM.TO as well as weakness in banking shares due to worries of more U.S. writedowns.
Shares of BlackBerry-maker RIM set the tone early in the session after the profit outlook it released on Wednesday fell short of what analysts had expected.
RIM dropped C$17.69, or 12.3 percent, to C$126.31. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company posted quarterly earnings that more than doubled, but also came just short of the Street’s expectations. RIM said it expects second-quarter earnings of 84 to 89 cents a share, a penny lower than the 90 cents analysts were expecting.
“This is the thing about the Toronto market,” said Keith Summers, chief investment officer at Stonegate Private Counsel. “It’s so dominated by a handful of stocks, that we get one and that’ll be enough to move it significantly.”
The financial sector was dragged down by persistent worries over the impact of the credit crunch after Goldman Sachs warned of possible writedowns at Citigroup (C.N) and Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 108.98 points, or 0.75 percent, at 14,332.15 with eight of its 10 main sectors lower.
The large banking sector gave up 2.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) sliding C$1.01, or 2.1 percent, to C$46.23, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) falling C$1.46, or 2.3 percent, to C$63.49.
Shares of gold and energy producers were higher as oil and gold prices rallied. The materials sector gained 1.8 percent, with help from the gold producers subindex, which climbed 4.1 percent.
In the oil patch, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) added C$2.33, or 2.4 percent, to C$100.15, and Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO pushed up 83 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, to C$51.08. The sector overall rose 1.1 percent. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)