March 28, 2008 / 1:54 PM / in 10 years

Toronto stocks slide as gold miners weaken

TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index slipped early on Friday, undercut by falling gold stocks and other mining issues as the prices of the underlying metals tumbled.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 24.43 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13,381.35.

The materials sector was the biggest drag, down 1 percent. Eight of the index’s 10 biggest weighted losers were miners, led by Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), down C$1.09 at C$45.06.

Spot gold was off nearly $20 at $926.69 an ounce while a measure of base metal prices was down more than 1 percent.

The TSX’s overall decline would have been worse if not for a jump in the shares of Research In Motion RIM.TO, the BlackBerry maker, which added C$2.12 to C$116.64.

The consumer staples group was the best performer, up 0.7 percent.

    $1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; editing by Janet Guttsman

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