TSX pulled down by oil price fall, economic unease

Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:23pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday, with energy shares down 2.5 percent after oil prices hit 2003 lows and worries about broader economic weakness weighing on consumer stocks.

Canadian Oil Sands Ltd COS.TO popped 10 percent higher to C$8.27 after succumbing to Suncor Energy Inc's (SU.TO: Quote) sweetened offer, while almost every other energy stock fell.

Suncor declined 4.6 percent to C$29.77 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) lost 2.1 percent to C$23.92.

Oil prices slumped below $28 per barrel as traders braced for a rise in Iranian exports after sanctions against Tehran were lifted over the weekend. [O/R]

"If you had a solid, sharp bounce back above $30 that might have done something for sentiment, but as it stands it's really hard for the index to get much traction," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, while an attempted rebound in European stocks fizzled.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session down 131.29 points, or 1.09 percent, at 11,942.17.

"Negative sentiment is so overwhelming, it's not really surprising to see the TSX trade down on a day like this," Picardo said.   Continued...

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