Oil price fall leads to first TSX slip in six sessions

Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:43pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Wednesday, its first decline in six sessions, as shares of oil and gas companies were weighed down by the stalling momentum of a recent rally in the price of oil.

Investors took some comfort from the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's last meeting, which showed policymakers were concerned about raising interest rates too quickly.

"If the (U.S.) dollar backs off a little bit and crude oil continues to gain some traction at these prices, that can only be positive for the TSX," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

That is not what happened on Wednesday, however, with oil's comeback rally halted as traders took stock of a 35 percent gain over the past month. [O/R]

Picardo said more turbulent times are likely on the horizon.

"We haven't really seen the full extent of the damage that this massive slump in crude oil has had on the Canadian economy," he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 71.86 points, or 0.47 percent, at 15,212.75.

Some resource bellwethers rose, such as Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO, up 2 percent at C$19.91, but others were off sharply. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) fell 3.4 percent to C$38.20, Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) gave up 1.7 percent to C$38.49, and Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: Quote) lost 5 percent to C$22.12.   Continued...

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