December 4, 2007 / 9:11 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks sag with weak financials

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index finished lower on Tuesday as financial issues were hit by more worries over the health of the U.S. economy.

A cut in interest rates was undermined by the Bank of Canada’s gloomy outlook, saying that it expects U.S. subprime mortgage troubles to last longer than anticipated.

Financial shares slid 1.1 percent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) down C$2.96, or 3.4 percent, at C$84.75, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) off C$1.64, or 2.7 percent, at C$59.96.

Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.TO) was down C$1.16, or 2.9 percent, at C$39.44 after its fourth-quarter earnings missed expectations.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 77.55 points, or 0.57 percent, at 13,579.62 with six of the market’s 10 main groups lower.

Materials issues fell 0.4 percent, while industrial metals prices fell on worries over slowing demand.

The small utilities sector was off 1.2 percent.

On the upside, Agrium Inc AGU.TO rose C$1.82, or 3 percent, to C$62.75 a day after announcing it will buy U.S. agricultural products supplier UAP Holding Corp UAPH.O for $2.65 billion, including debt.

Biovail Corp BVF.TO helped lift the health care sector 0.5 percent after the company came to an agreement with Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc WPI.N that will delay a generic version of Biovail’s Cardizem LA heart drug.

Biovail was up 35 Canadian cents, or 2.4 percent, at C$14.93.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Rob Wilson

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