TSX lower as uncertainty reigns, industrials weigh

Thu May 28, 2015 5:11pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index pulled back on Thursday as investor caution about economic growth, geopolitical uncertainty and interest rate trajectories overpowered stronger-than-expected earnings from three of the country's biggest lenders.

The most influential falls came from Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote), which fell 4.1 percent to C$208.80, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which declined 1.1 percent to C$55.37 despite posting a surprisingly strong quarterly profit.

"Today is another example of investor confusion about which way to turn," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates, citing myriad worries from a possible Greek default to Middle East violence to Fed rate hikes.

"Nobody's feeling exuberant right now. It's a cautious attitude that's taken hold," she said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 3.47 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,107.00.

Brough said Canadian Pacific's fall was likely a direct hit from the loss of traffic it will suffer as Teck Resources temporarily shuts its six Canadian coal mines.

The overall industrials group retreated 1.5 percent, while the financials group slipped 0.1 percent.

Among the three banks that reported on Thursday, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) also raised its dividend, joining two of Canada's Big Six banks that hiked their payouts earlier this week. CIBC (CM.TO: Quote) gained 0.6 percent to C$95.63.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch