TSX flat, hurt by weakness in banks, oil and gas

Fri Dec 5, 2014 4:45pm EST
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended flat on Friday, rattled by lusterless bank earnings and weakness in oil and gas shares, a day after its biggest single-day drop in 18 months.

The resource-rich index has been pummeled in recent months by a slumping price for crude oil, which closed at its lowest since July 2009, with underwhelming numbers from some of Canada's biggest lenders adding to the gloom. [O/R]

"This disappointment from the banks could honestly not have come at a worse time for the TSX" given the strain on energy stocks, said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Shares in Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) lost 2 percent to C$66.20 after Canada's No. 3 lender reported weaker-than-expected profit on previously announced charges related to soured bets in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Other banks whose results have failed to impress also slipped, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) off 1.2 percent at C$102.33.

Despite the headwinds, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE inched higher, ending the day up 3.75 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,473.70. The index ended last week at 14,744.75, a decline of 1.8 percent for the week.

"Part of the reason for today's muted decline is the fact that we had such a big drop yesterday," Picardo said.

Notable gainers included Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote), up 1.8 percent at C$40.42, and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote), which gained 2.8 percent to C$23.01.   Continued...

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