TSX dips as financials drag; gold stocks rally

Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:45pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged slightly lower on Thursday as losses for financials and other sectors offset gains for gold miners and Bombardier Inc after the company won a large plane order.

The index has rallied 20 percent since January but has been unable to climb back above the 14,000 threshold. It moved back in reach of that level on Thursday before turning lower as losses on Wall Street deepened after the Bank of Japan's shocking call to cap monetary stimulus continued to rattle investors.

The rally in gold and oil helped the index outperform U.S. stock markets, according to Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.

Spot gold rose 1.8 percent, while oil hit 2016 highs for a third straight day as a weaker dollar had investors shrugging off record high U.S. crude inventories. U.S. crude prices settled at $46.03 a barrel, up 1.54 percent. [O/R]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 1.23 points, or 0.01 percent, to 13,886.43. Six of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.

Cieszynski expects crude oil to "level off" as it approaches $50 a barrel, making it difficult for the index to push above the 14,000 threshold.

The heavyweight financials group fell 0.5 percent, including a 1.7 percent drop in the shares of Manulife Financial Corp to C$18.38.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan fell nearly 4 percent to C$22.17. The world's biggest fertilizer company by capacity cut its full-year profit forecast due to weak demand and lower prices.   Continued...

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