TSX falls with banks, industrial stocks

Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:24pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended lower on Tuesday, with losses for financial, industrial and materials stocks partially offset by gains for energy companies and utilities.

The index recovered some losses in afternoon trade after deadly blasts in Brussels had prompted a flight to safe-haven assets.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE settled down 67.60 points, or 0.50 percent, at 13,493.49. Seven of its 10 main sectors retreated.

Travel-related stocks fell, with Air Canada (AC.TO: Quote) down 2.3 percent at C$8.95 and Westjet Airlines Ltd (WJA.TO: Quote) lost 2.6 percent at C$19.50. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: Quote) fell 2.4 percent to C$79.56. Industrials fell 1.4 percent.

Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments, said the index has likely turned a corner from a January trough but that investors can expect choppy moves higher from here.

"You're going to see a hopscotch market, I don't think the whole market's going to go all at once," he said. "It's going to be very rotational."

"The oil sector is probably a good place to be right now for a long-term bet," he added. "If you have the long-term horizon, it's probably time to start tip-toeing back into the high-quality names."

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained 1.2 percent to C$36.03 and TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) rose 1.4 percent to C$49.13, even as oil settled little changed. The overall energy sector was slightly lower. [O/R]   Continued...

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