RTTNews - Financials pulled Toronto's main index away from a multi-month high Wednesday as traders awaited earnings reports from some big banks. The daily decline was the second in seven sessions.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 143.74 points or 1.39% to finish the day at 10,142.16. Tuesday's close was the highest for the index since October 3.

Financials fell 4.4%, led by a 4.4% drop by Bank of Montreal. The stock gave back the bulk of its gains from yesterday when it benefited from a better-than-forecast earnings report.

On Thursday, Toronto-Dominion (TD.TO), Scotiabank (BNS.TO), CIBC (CM.TO) and National Bank (NA.TO) will report quarterly results. Royal Bank (RY.TO) will report on Friday.

Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) fell 5% after the company reported second quarter net income of C$21.2 million or C$0.76 per share, compared to C$25.1 million or C$0.93 per share in the second quarter last year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation revealed Wednesday that the U.S. banking industry suffered one of its worst quarters since the mid 1990s. The number of banks on the problem bank list rose 21 percent in the first three months of 2009, the FDIC said, making it the highest numbers since the tail end of the savings and loan crisis in the mid 1990s.

Gold stocks ended down 1.9% after the precious metal finished flat for the session. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) lost 2.5% and Royal Gold (RGL.TO) fell 2.3%.

Virginia Mines (VGQ.TO) added 5.9% after announcing it has agreed to sell its interest in 52 mining claims in Quebec to Agnico-Eagle Mines for $1 million in shares. Agnico-Eagle Mines dropped 3.3%.

In other corporate news, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (ANP.TO) surged more than 43% after the company said that its corporate partner, Boston Scientific (BSX) received FDA approval for its drug-eluting stent, Taxus Liberte Atom Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System, used in the treatment of small coronary vessels.

Zarlink Semiconductor (ZL.TO) rallied more than 20% after reporting its second-quarter revenues swelled to US$227.2 million US$183.6 million a year ago. Hurt by charges, net loss per share widened to US$0.41 from US$0.16 last year.

Troubled automaker General Motors (GM) took a step closer to the largest-ever U.S. industrial bankruptcy after the company said Wednesday that its offer to exchange $27 billion in debt for equity expired and fell short of the 90% approval it required from bondholders.

Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service kept its AAA credit rating on the U.S., despite significant deterioration in the government's debt position. Moody's cited resilient economy, strong government institutions, high per capita income and central position in the global economy.

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