TSX ends slightly lower as oil gloom drags on energy sector

Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:10pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed barely lower on Wednesday, hurt by losses in energy shares as oil prices slid on a surprise inventory build, which offset positive comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the rollercoaster session down 3.46 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,546.54.

It pared losses from early in the session after the Fed held rates steady and said the risks to its outlook had diminished.

"Clearly the headliner for today was the Fed and their policy statement, and that explains ... a little bit of the swings that we're seeing here late in the day," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Canadian index turned lower earlier in the day as energy shares, a major component, were hurt by oil prices falling to three-month lows after the U.S. government reported a surprise build in crude and gasoline inventories during the peak summer driving season.

The heavyweight energy group, which had been trading higher before the inventory report was released, fell 1.6 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) down 1 percent at C$34.66 and Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: Quote) losing 3.1 percent to C$17.50.

Six of the index's 10 main groups were in negative territory, with decliners just barely outnumbering advancers.

The most influential gainers included grocery chain Loblaw Cos Ltd (L.TO: Quote), which rose 3.7 percent to C$73.45, and technology company CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO: Quote), which jumped 7.2 percent to C$63.05, after both beat earnings expectations.   Continued...

A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), is seen in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch