(Adds details on specific stocks, investor comment, updates
* TSX down 166.22 points, or 1.06 percent, to 15,483.32
* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups move lower
* Energy group down 2.5 pct, financials off 1.8 pct
TORONTO, April 27 Canada's main stock index fell
sharply on Thursday as its heavyweight banking and energy
sectors took heavy losses, with oil prices weighing and an
alternative lender's troubles putting the domestic housing
market in focus.
Home Capital Group Inc said it had hired bankers to
help it secure additional funding and size up its strategic
options, as the subprime lender reported a further sharp decline
in its assets amid a security regulator's probe into its
Its shares popped 13.9 percent to C$6.82, offsetting some of
Wednesday's 60 percent plunge, but the broader financial group -
which accounts for a third of the index's weight - fell 1.8
"People are concerned that maybe this is the tip of the
iceberg for the housing market," said Rick Hutcheon, president
and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.
Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest bank,
fell 1.8 percent to C$93.77, while Toronto-Dominion Bank
lost 1.6 percent to C$64.70 and Bank of Nova Scotia
shed 2.9 percent to C$75.20.
Canada's federal housing agency said on Wednesday that
Toronto still faces price acceleration, overvaluation and
overheating. Ontario's provincial government
earlier this month set a tax on foreign buyers amid a host of
measures designed to cool Toronto prices.
At 11:16 a.m. ET (1516 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 166.22 points, or
1.06 percent, to 15,483.32.
The energy group - which account for another 20 percent of
the index's weight - retreated 2.5 percent as oil prices fell on
news that two key oilfields in Libya had restarted, pumping
crude for export into an already bloated market.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell 3.9 percent to
C$43.30 and Encana Corp also shed 3.9 percent, to
Canada's largest oil and gas company, Suncor Energy Inc
advanced 0.4 percent to C$41.78 after reporting
Fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan
advanced 2.7 percent to C$23.27 after reporting a beating profit
expectations and upping its full-year outlook.
Its rival and planned merger partner Agrium
advanced 2.6 percent to C$129.64.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)