TSX lower as investors focus on end to ECB rate cuts
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell in volatile trade on Thursday, just its second slip in 11 sessions, as investors looked past the European Central Bank's rate cuts and expansion of stimulus to focus on signals that there would be no further cuts.
The broad decline - nine of the index's 10 main groups were lower - was offset by a 2.9 percent jump in materials stocks led by major gold producers as bullion prices gained.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 13.76 points, or 0.10 percent, at 13,379.14.
It had jumped above 13,500 in early trade after the ECB delved deep into its remaining arsenal of stimulus options, cutting interest rates and expanding asset-buying.
"People were like 'wait a minute, OK this is a great announcement but has anything changed? Not really. Let's sell the news'," said Manash Goswami, a portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management, pointing to broadly negative corporate earnings trends in both the United States and Canada.
Industrial stocks fell 1.1 percent, while consumer staples fell 1.4 percent. That included a 14.7 percent drop in Empire Co Ltd (EMPa.TO: Quote) to C$22.83 after the owner of the Sobey's grocery chain reported earnings late on Wednesday.
The heavyweight financials group slipped 0.2 percent and utilities stocks were off 0.5 percent.
Energy stocks fell 0.2 percent, holding on to most of their recent gains despite a pullback in the price of crude oil. [O/R] Continued...