TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index slipped on Friday, as a range of miners, energy producers, telecom and consumer stocks weighed, offsetting gains for its heavyweight bank stocks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 32.10 points, or 0.22 percent, at 14,482.42. It gained 1.6 percent over the week, its third straight week of 1-percent-plus gains.
“Right now we’re still floundering around, everyone’s worried,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments. “But eventually people are going to start saying ‘Oh, there is a blue sky, there is a light at the end of the tunnel’”.
Among stocks weighing most heavily on the index were First Quantum Minerals Ltd, which fell 6.3 percent to C$10.21, and Detour Gold Corp, down 4.7 percent to C$32.12.
The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, fell 0.7 percent.
Energy stocks lost 0.6 percent, with major producer Suncor Energy Inc down 1.4 percent to C$36.08.
Hutcheon said Canada’s resource-based companies will become more attractive as a recovery in the United States, Canada’s largest trading partner by far, picks up steam.
“There are increasing signs that the U.S. economy is starting to gain some traction,” he said. “It’s really what everyone’s been waiting for.”
The most influential gainers on the day included some of the index’s biggest banks, with Bank of Nova Scotia up 0.6 percent to C$65.63 and Royal Bank of Canada adding 0.4 percent to C$80.10.
Nine of 10 main sectors were lower, and decliners were outnumbering advancers by a more than two-to-one ratio.
Shaw Communications Inc fell 1.3 percent to C$24.86 after reporting disappointing earnings from ongoing operations.
Shares in its rival Telus Corp fell 1 percent to C$42.97 after the telecom company said its healthcare unit would pay an undisclosed sum for an electronic medical records operation.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Jonathan Oatis