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: Quote) 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: Quote), which declined 4.4 percent to C$33.60, while TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) 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