TSX falls as commodities prices drag

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:58pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, weighed down by falls in the shares of major banks, energy companies and miners as weakness in commodity markets tainted investor sentiment.

A rise in U.S. oil inventories pushed U.S crude CLc1 to a settlement below $50 a barrel for the first time since April. Brent also fell. [O/R]

Gold prices hit a five-year low, and copper and iron ore also struggled due to shrinking Chinese demand. [GOL/][MET/L][IRONORE/]

"The pressure from commodity-related assets is probably going to stay with us for a little longer," said Sid Mokhtari, director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets. "There's no real catalyst for them to get a lift and that's why we expect this doldrums or this stagnation to persist."

Those price drops pulled the Toronto index's energy sector down 1.1 percent and the mining sub-sector down 2.3 percent.

Pipeline company Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) was the index's most influential loser, down 3.3 percent to C$55.74. Oil producer Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was not far behind, declining 2.2 percent to C$31.06.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 69.12 points, or 0.48 percent, at 14,307.12.

CIBC's Mokhtari said he expected the index to touch lows from October and December last year, putting it in a range between 13,600 and 13,800, before buyers will re-emerge.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch