(Updates prices throughout, adds response from Toronto-Dominion
* 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 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
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
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)