TSX falls as lower oil weighs on energy stocks

Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:45pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday as lower oil prices weighed on energy stocks, while most other sectors also lost ground as risk appetite declined.

The index has rallied nearly 20 percent since January but has been unable to climb back above the 14,000 threshold.

"Corporate earnings have to get better for this market to go to the next level" said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at HollisWealth.

The energy group fell 1.5 percent, pressured by lower oil prices. U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled more than $1 lower at $42.64 a barrel after data pointed to fresh U.S. crude builds.

Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) fell 1.5 percent to C$53.05. Canadian regulators recommended the federal government approve the company's Line 3 pipeline replacement project, but imposed 89 project-specific conditions aimed at enhancing safety and environmental protection.

Shares of Precision Drilling Corp (PD.TO: Quote) fell 5.5 percent to C$5.67. The rig contractor posted a first-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by lower demand for rigs amid a prolonged slump in oil prices.

The lower oil price weighed on risk appetite, dragging other sectors lower, including financials as investors worried about the exposure of banks to energy loans, said Small.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell 0.9 percent to C$55.67, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) was down 0.6 percent at C$64.93. The overall financials group declined 0.4 percent.   Continued...

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