TSX falls as financials, railway stocks weigh

Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:20pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Tuesday as profit-taking weighed on financial and railway stocks, offsetting gains for energy companies and gold miners as commodity prices rose.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 37.93 points, or 0.25 percent, at 15,441.36.

The index reached a more than two year high earlier this month at 15,621.40, helped by optimism that the policies of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will raise growth and inflation and by an agreement by major oil producers in November to cut output. But the rally has since lost some momentum.

"I think what we are seeing is a little bit of profit-taking in sectors that had done well at the end of the year," said Susan Da Sie, senior managing director at Manulife Asset Management.

Industrials fell 1.1 percent, with Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) sliding 1.7 percent to C$91.81, while financials declined 0.7 percent as bond yields fell.

Higher bond yields reduce the value of insurance companies' liabilities and increase net interest margins of banks.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) fell 0.7 percent to C$93.58 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) declined 0.9 percent to C$66.37.

Canada's housing agency said on Tuesday it will increase its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums in a move that makes it marginally more expensive for borrowers to buy a home but should not materially affect the housing market.   Continued...

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