(Updates prices throughout, adds response from Toronto-Dominion Bank)
* TSX down 35.86 points, or 0.23 percent, to 15,460.98
* Two of the TSX’s 10 main groups fall
TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index slipped in afternoon trade on Friday, with shares in Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) falling sharply after CBC News reported that employees of the bank were being pressured to meet high sales revenue goals, traders said.
Shares in TD, Canada’s No. 2 lender, fell as much as 5.3 percent to C$66.21, its biggest one-day decline since December 2014.
In an emailed response to Reuters regarding the CBC story, TD said, “The environment described in the media report is very much at odds with how we run our business, and we don’t recognize it from our own perspective, experience or assessments.”
The financials group slipped 0.9 percent, despite some of its biggest members moving higher as solid domestic jobs data broadly boosted bond yields.
The energy group retreated 0.7 percent, as oil prices fell further after sharp losses in the past two sessions. Canadian Natural Resources declined 1.6 percent to C$42.61 after jumping sharply on Thursday’s news the company would buy significant oil sands assets from Royal Dutch Shell.
At 12:51 p.m. ET (1751 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 35.86 points, or 0.23 percent, to 15,460.98.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, just financials and energy were in negative territory.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.4 percent, as Barrick Gold Corp rose 0.5 percent to C$24.01 and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd jumped 8.1 percent to C$4.095.
Gold recovered from a five-week low after U.S. non-farm payrolls report for February failed to meet lofty expectations, while copper rose after six straight sessions of declines as a surge in inventories halted and workers began an indefinite strike at a mine in Peru, raising supply concerns.
Element Fleet Management Corp declined 7.7 percent to C$13.055 as several banks downgraded or trimmed their price targets on the company after it reported quarterly earnings. (Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli, Toni Reinhold)