TSX down for third day as energy and rails weigh

Wed May 13, 2015 5:01pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell for a third straight session on Wednesday, with heavyweight energy and railway companies among the biggest losers as crude prices slipped and investors worried about economic growth.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 62.43 points, or 0.42 percent, at 14,980.72. Eight of the ten main sectors were lower.

"Valuations have been somewhat stretched and we wouldn't be surprised to see a correction somewhere along the way here," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management.

Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) was the heaviest weight on the index, with the country's biggest railway off 3.2 percent at C$74.11. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote) was not far behind, falling 2.4 percent to C$214.26. The railways are in the index's industrials group, which retreated 1.2 percent.

Sprung said investors had priced the railways assuming economic growth that now appears unsustainable.

Energy stocks fell 0.6 percent, as a rallying U.S. dollar pushed oil prices lower. [O/R] In the group, Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) fell 2.2 percent to C$16.30 and pipeline company Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) lost 0.9 percent to C$61.04.

"Overall, stock markets are struggling here," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada, citing the latest U.S. data pointing to a struggling recovery in Canada's largest export market.

"U.S. retail sales disappointed, which is still continuing to raise questions about the health of the U.S. economy," he said.   Continued...

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