TSX falls as drop in oil prices, dour data weigh

Mon Feb 1, 2016 5:13pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index lost ground on Monday, with shares in energy companies weighing heavily as oil prices tumbled and weak economic data out of Europe and China exacerbated concerns about a global slowdown.

The index's energy group retreated 3.7 percent, with pipeline operator Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) off 3.5 percent at C$46.97 and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) falling 4.1 percent to C$31.83.

Suncor, the country's largest oil and gas company, could provide further insight on the overall health of the oil patch when it reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, according to John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

"I don't think the expectations for earnings for (Canadian energy companies) are going to be very high, and because they were beaten up so badly that they will maybe just muddle through here," he said.

Oil CLc1 LCOc1 fell more than 6 percent as weak economic data from China, the world's largest energy consumer, weighed on prices and an OPEC source played down talk of an emergency meeting to stem the decline.

Kinsey said he likes the prospects for pipeline companies and feels they are being unfairly punished by association with the struggling energy industry.

The most influential movers on the index also included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), which fell 1.8 percent to C$71.27, and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: Quote), which declined 2 percent to C$74.45.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 147.76 points, or 1.15 percent, to 12,674.37. Seven of the index's 10 main groups were in negative territory.   Continued...

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