TSX falls as oil slump hurts energy stocks; BlackBerry tumbles

Fri Apr 1, 2016 4:51pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Friday, dragged down by a 7.6 percent drop in BlackBerry Ltd BB.TO shares on disappointing earnings and a slump in oil prices that hurt energy companies.

Still, the index closed 0.6 percent higher on the week after having rallied into quarter-end on Thursday. March was its best monthly performance in more than four years.

Investors tried "to close out the quarter on a good note and then what you're seeing today is just a little bit of repositioning," said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.

The most influential weights on the index included Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, which declined 4.4 percent to C$33.60, while TransCanada Corp TRP.TO was down 2.9 percent at C$49.59. The overall energy group retreated 2.6 percent.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 4.3 percent at $36.71 a barrel.

BlackBerry tumbled to C$9.74 after the company reported a larger-than-expected slide in fourth-quarter revenue amid weak hardware sales.

The heavyweight financials group slipped 0.1 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 54.03 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,440.33. Six of the index's 10 main sectors ended lower.   Continued...

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