TSX turns lower as financials fall; ends month 0.8 percent higher

Tue May 31, 2016 5:57pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index turned lower on Tuesday after hitting a new nine-month high, pressured by losses for financial stocks after one of the country's major banks reported results that missed estimates.

Still the index ended 0.8 percent higher for the month of May and has rallied 22 percent from an almost 3-1/2-year low of 11,531.22 in January.

"The market still has legs," said Steve Belisle, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management, who expects the index to move higher over the coming months and for oil and gold to be the most important drivers of performance this year.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) reported second-quarter results below market expectations and increased funds set aside to cover bad loans by 40 percent as lending to energy companies turned sour.

Its shares fell 1.3 percent to C$64.14, while the overall financials group retreated nearly 1 percent.

Both the consumer discretionary and industrials groups fell 0.4 percent, while telecommunications was down 0.5 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 20.89 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,065.78. It touched its highest level since Aug. 19 at 14,172.35 before turning lower.

Six of the index's 10 main groups ended in negative territory.

The resource sectors were among those that rallied.   Continued...

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