TSX hits five-week low as energy, financial stocks weigh

Mon Nov 9, 2015 5:02pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed at its weakest level in more than five weeks on Monday, pressured by global growth concerns, sustained pressure on crude prices, and anticipation of a December rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

The most influential downward force was Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO: Quote), which declined 5.6 percent to C$43.25 after changing tack in its takeover approach for Australian port and rail company Asciano Ltd AIO.AX.

The energy group retreated 1.2 percent as oversupply weighed on crude oil prices for a fourth straight day, with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) down 1.3 percent at C$38.97. [O/R]

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) ended off 2.2 percent at C$32.93 after agreeing to sell most of its royalty assets in a C$1.8 billion ($1.4 billion) deal, joining other oil producers in shedding assets to weather the crude price slump.

The buyer, PrairieSky Royalty Ltd (PSK.TO: Quote), advanced 0.5 percent to C$26.12.

"It's going to remain a tough environment for all these guys," said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management. "I think there is probably more pain to come in Alberta over the coming months."

Pipeline companies also weighed, with their dividend yields looking less attractive as investors increased their bets on a Fed hike in December after Friday's solid U.S. jobs report.

Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) fell 2.5 percent to C$50.44.   Continued...

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