TSX slips on Ukraine crisis; CP Rail jumps

Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:57pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dipped slightly on Thursday as gains in shares of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and gold miners were offset by broad weakness spurred by developments in the Ukraine crisis.

CP Rail climbed 2.3 percent to a record high after reporting an increase in second-quarter earnings as it worked to recover from backlogs and a harsh winter. The shares closed at C$202.33.

The market eased from an all-time high it hit earlier in the session after concerns grew about the implications of a wave of sanctions that Western powers imposed on Russia.

Further, a Malaysian airliner was brought down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 295 people aboard.

Also working into the mix were figures that showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week. But U.S. data also showed a drop in housing starts and building permits last month.

“The Ukraine/Russia situation has once again come to the forefront. We've seen a bit of a flight to safety," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The Canadian benchmark index has gained about 12 percent this year, driven by a rally in shares of oil and gas companies and gold miners.

“There has been a sea change in the sentiment for the TSX, and it could continue to benefit from its leverage to global growth,” Picardo said.   Continued...

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch