April 19, 2017 / 11:37 AM / 3 months ago

TSX falls as oil slide hits energy stocks

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

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) and BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) 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) fell 1.2 percent to C$43.70 and Encana Corp (ECA.TO) lost 3.3 percent to C$14.88.

Offsetting the group's losses, Parkland Fuel Co (PKI.TO) jumped 6 percent to C$30.48 following news that would buy Chevron Corp's (CVX.N) 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) gained 3.1 percent to C$12.04 after the technology company said insurer Allied World (AWH.N) would offer its cyber policyholders access to BlackBerry tools.

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

"I'm actually starting to look at BlackBerry again," he said, adding that he would nevertheless need to see the company return to profitability before buying the stock for clients.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) was the biggest drag on the index, falling 3.4 percent to C$24.48. Shanghai-listed Shandong Tyan Home (600807.SS) said on Wednesday its negotiations with Barrick to buy a 50-percent stake of the Canadian operator's Kalgoorlie mine have ended without a deal.

Other gold miners also slipped, tracking gold prices, which edged lower on a stronger U.S. dollar. Gold futures GCc1 fell 0.8 percent to $1,281.8 an ounce. [GOL/]

Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO) rose 1.5 percent to C$62.36 after the country's largest wireless company by market share reported a sharp rise in first-quarter profit and higher revenue after markets closed on Tuesday.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Tom Brown and Sandra Maler

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