TSX eases after recent rally as energy, financials slip

Fri May 22, 2015 5:13pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index barely retreated on Friday, with cooling energy and financial stocks weighing, after the index posted gains in four of the previous five sessions.

Investors took a cautious approach ahead of a U.S. trading holiday on Monday, though U.S. dollar strength hurt some energy stocks as crude prices slipped. Energy stocks were five of the 10 biggest negative weights on the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE.

Banks were also among the biggest losers ahead of their quarterly earnings due through the next week.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen provided further evidence that the central bank is poised to raise rates this year as the U.S. economy bounces back from an early-year slump.

The TSX index ended off 2.85 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,200.76. It gained 0.6 percent in a four-session week.

"It seem like markets are pricing in a reasonable chance of a rate increase in the U.S. at some point this year and that's helping boost the U.S. dollar and conversely putting pressure on commodity prices," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners+ of Richardson GMP.

U.S. CLc1 and Brent crude LCOc1 prices were both down around 1.5 percent. [O/R]

Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) was the most influential loser, falling 1.1 percent to C$62.00. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) followed with a 0.6 percent loss to C$64.61.   Continued...

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