TSX slips as energy companies hurt by crude fall

Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:56pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Tuesday as a retreat in crude oil prices weighed on energy companies and some of the optimism created by the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive policy action last week started to fade.

Three of the four heaviest weights were energy companies. Other commodity-based stocks also felt the pressure as copper paused and traders sold to lock in some of the recent gains in a range of natural resources and the companies that produce them.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 24.15 points, or 0.19 percent, at 12,422.71.

"The market today is responding to some of the overbought conditions from oil, gold, and some oversold reversal from the dollar index," said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC World Markets.

The greenback hit a seven-month low against a basket of currencies last week, while resource prices broadly jumped and lifted the Toronto index to a five-month high after the Fed said it would buy $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities in a bid to boost economic growth.

Crude gave back some of that gain on Tuesday, pushing Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) down 1.4 percent to C$33.53, while Penn West Petroleum Ltd PWT.TO ended down 4.5 percent at C$15.25. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was off 1.2 percent at C$32.75 and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote) fell 1.3 percent to C$34.91.


Gold, however, remained buoyant. The precious metal is typically viewed as a hedge against inflation, which some investors worry could be sparked by the Fed's latest move. <GOL/>   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch