TSX hits one-month low as financials retreat

Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:29pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell to a one-month low on Tuesday as heavyweight financial shares declined, but some losses for the index were pared, while gold mining stocks climbed as gold prices benefited from pressure on the U.S. dollar.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 19.16 points, or 0.12 percent, at 15,385.96, its lowest close since Dec. 30.

The index fell for the fourth straight day for the first time since Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election in November.

"The equity market rally was getting a little bit long in the tooth and investors are taking a breather until they get a little bit more clarity on the political backdrop, particularly in the U.S.," said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager at Fiera Capital.

Still, the index closed well above its intraday low of 15,313.02 and rose 0.6 percent for the month.

"The fundamental backdrop is still supportive," including earnings that have been coming in stronger than expected and economic growth which was already picking up before the U.S. election, Bangsund said.

The Canadian economy grew 0.4 percent in November from October, faster than economists had expected.

Financials fell 0.5 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank down 0.7 percent at C$67.41.   Continued...

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