TSX ends lower as banks, healthcare sectors weaken

Thu Aug 6, 2015 4:26pm EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended lower on Thursday, dragged down by weakness in the financial and healthcare sectors ahead of a U.S. jobs report.

The U.S. July nonfarm payrolls data, due to be released on Friday, is seen as a barometer of economic health and could influence the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decisions.

The benchmark TSX's decline came after gains in the previous six sessions.

"We're seeing pretty broad-based selling today. It looks like investors are getting a little nervous ahead of tomorrow's U.S. jobs report," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd, which manages about C$28.3 billion in assets.

"Investors are looking for something close to expectations, but anything over or under that would likely lead to some concerns on the market," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 97.08 points, or 0.67 percent, at 14,405.91. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

The energy sector, which accounts for 19 percent of the weight of the index, rose 1.6 percent, shrugging off a decline in U.S. crude oil CLc1 prices amid a persistent global supply glut and little sign of a reduction in production. [O/R]

Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO added 0.5 percent to C$37.51. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO advanced 1.5 percent to C$32.81 after a fall in production expenses that helped the country's largest independent petroleum producer report better-than-expected adjusted earnings.   Continued...

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