TSX slips as financials, materials drive losses; energy bounces

Mon Jun 5, 2017 5:24pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday as financial stocks dipped amid signs of cooling in Toronto's overheated housing market, while a rebound in energy stocks tempered some losses.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 32.97 points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,409.78, after sliding as much as 97.81 points to 15,344.94 in early trading and then briefly turning positive.

Eight of the index's 10 key sectors finished lower.

"Buyers are a little reticent to do anything, so they're letting things drift," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

Financial services stocks, which also briefly swung into positive territory, eased 0.2 percent. Individual stock moves were modest, but the group accounts for a third of the entire index.

The latest housing data for Toronto showed that while prices continued to rise, the pace slowed, with sales falling significantly and new listings surging as sellers looked to cash in and buyers moved to the sidelines under new housing rules aimed at cooling demand.

Financial stocks have see-sawed in recent weeks as investors wavered between robust earnings from Canada's biggest banks and encouraging signs of economic growth, and housing market concerns.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.5 percent, with Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) falling 1.7 percent to C$64.85 despite higher gold prices.   Continued...

A Bay Street sign, a symbol of Canada's economic markets and where main financial institutions are located, is seen in Toronto, May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch