TSX falls to a one-month low as energy, financials retreat

Thu Apr 7, 2016 5:06pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell to a one-month low on Thursday as lower oil prices weighed on energy stocks, while financials and consumer discretionary stocks also lost ground as investor appetite for risk waned globally.

The index has rallied nearly 15 percent after hitting an almost 3-1/2-year low in January, but has been unable to sustain moves since mid-March above its 200-day moving average as a rally in commodity prices lost momentum.

"What we are seeing recently is the oil price dictating where the overall market goes in the short term," said Cavan Yie, senior equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $37.26 a barrel, down 1.3 percent.

"You are seeing the energy sector leading the charge down, banks are following and then you got some large consumer names that are down as well," Yie added.

The most-influential movers on the index included Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which fell 1.4 percent to C$54.16, and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote), which declined 5.3 percent to C$17.09.

The overall financials group declined 1.3 percent.

The energy group retreated 1.2 percent, including a 1.8 percent drop in the shares of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) to C$34.37.   Continued...

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