TSX dips with weaker technology stocks; gold shares cushion losses

Fri Feb 5, 2016 5:15pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dipped on Friday as a selloff in U.S. technology stocks spilled over to Canada's technology sector, but defensive names such as gold stocks helped cushion losses.

Canadian stocks held up better than those on Wall Street despite a weak Canadian jobs report. Indeed, Canada's market has fallen less than 2 percent since the start of 2016, comparing favorably to the 8 percent drubbing suffered by the S&P 500 .SPX over the same period.

"It does feel that the TSX is trying to find a bottom here," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The index fell 0.5 percent for the week, but it has rebounded nearly 11 percent from the three-year low hit in January.

The information technology sector fell 4 percent after weak forecasts from U.S. technology companies weighed on U.S. stocks. It included a 4.3 percent drop in CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO: Quote) to C$57.81.

The most influential movers on the index also included Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) which fell 2 percent to C$74.22 and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (ATDb.TO: Quote), which was down 2.5 percent at C$58.01.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was down 0.4 percent at C$52.26, while the overall financial services group dipped 0.2 percent.

Financials face a myriad of issues, according to Luciano Orengo, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. They include downward pressure on interest rates and loan-loss concerns related to the energy sector, but also over-leveraged consumers and "housing prices sticking out like a sore thumb."   Continued...

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