TSX falls as oil slide hits energy stocks

Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:25pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as sliding oil prices weighed on energy stocks, while solid earnings boosted Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) and BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO: Quote) gained on a deal to get its cyber security tools in front of more potential customers.

The energy group -- which accounts for one fifth of the index's weight -- fell 1.5 percent as oil hit a two-week low with a surprising build in U.S. gasoline inventories and rising U.S. crude output undercut efforts by other countries to reduce a global glut. [O/R]

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) fell 1.2 percent to C$43.70 and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) lost 3.3 percent to C$14.88.

Offsetting the group's losses, Parkland Fuel Co (PKI.TO: Quote) jumped 6 percent to C$30.48 following news that would buy Chevron Corp's (CVX.N: Quote) Canadian gasoline stations and British Columbia refinery for C$1.46 billion ($1.09 billion).

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell steadily throughout the session to end down 69.69 points, or 0.45 percent, at 15,552.88. Six of the index's 10 main groups finished in the red.

"To me, fundamentally, I think the Toronto Stock Exchange is going to be hard pressed to move significantly higher," based on expectations for a strong U.S. dollar, higher interest rates and lower oil prices, said Allan Small, a senior investment advisor at HollisWealth.

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO: Quote) gained 3.1 percent to C$12.04 after the technology company said insurer Allied World (AWH.N: Quote) would offer its cyber policyholders access to BlackBerry tools.

Small said the news supported the notion that BlackBerry's turnaround plan was working.   Continued...

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