TSX edges down, lower commodities weigh on resource stocks

Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:19pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell slightly on Thursday as lower commodity prices weighed on energy and mining stocks, while financial sector stocks rose.

The index has rallied 18.5 percent since hitting an almost 3-1/2-year low in January. On Wednesday, it touched its highest in five months at 13,703.61.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 2.7 percent.

"The big story today is just the pullback in the gold stocks," said Patrick Blais, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 3.7 percent to C$19.81, while Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) was also down 3.7 percent at C$21.31.

Spot gold XAU= fell 1.4 percent as the U.S. dollar rose for the third straight day and world stocks climbed to 2016 highs.

Fertilizer producers also dragged, including a 5.3 percent drop in Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) to C$107.02 and a 2.4 percent decline in Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) to C$20.86 after several analysts downgraded their views on the stocks.

The energy group retreated 0.5 percent as oil prices fell amid skepticism that an upcoming meeting of major producers would do much to tighten the supply demand balance.   Continued...

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