July 28, 2008 / 7:17 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks lower as banks fall

(Updates to late afternoon)

*TSX little changed as gives back earlier gains

*Financials hurt by fears of more losses

*Energy shares climb with oil

TORONTO, July 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was little changed on Monday afternoon, easing back from earlier gains as financial shares tracked their U.S. counterparts lower on fresh worries over the credit crunch.

The resource sectors put a floor under the index as energy shares moved up with oil prices rose after militant attacks in Nigeria hurt that country’s oil production. Among the gainers, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) climbed 2.2 percent.

The banking sector, taking its cue from south of the border, fell on worries of more losses after U.S. regulators on Friday took over two small banks that had failed. In Toronto, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) lost 2.1 percent.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 7.58 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,371.23 late in the afternoon with half of its 10 main sectors lower.

The energy and materials sectors rose 1.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, helped by gains in oil and gold prices. Goldcorp (G.TO) was up C$1.50, or 3.7 percent, at C$42.50, while Canadian Natural Resources added C$1.72 to C$79.44.

The financials were down 1.6 percent, with National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) falling C$1.14, or 2.3 percent, to C$49.36, and Scotiabank down C$1.03 at C$47.93.

Shares of Biovail Corp BVF.TO were down C$1.01, or 9 percent, at C$10.25, after founder Eugene Melnyk said he was giving up on his plan to oust the company’s board of directors and elect his own team at the shareholders meeting next month.

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals ANP.TO lost 18 Canadian cents, or 7.7 percent, to C$2.16 after it said its second-quarter loss widened while royalty revenues for its drug-coated stents fell. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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