TSX slips on day and week; eyes bank earns, Fed

Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:07pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed a fraction lower on Friday as investors awaited bank earnings and more talk from the U.S. Federal Reserve next week, giving the TSX its third straight directionless day.

Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 8.22 points, or 0.06 percent, at 14,687.46. It lost 0.4 percent over the week in low-volume trade as a recent pullback lost momentum and investors looked ahead.

"It's Friday. We're just taking a little bit of a breather," said Kevin Headland, senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.

"The last couple of days, and today, are a breather post-Fed minutes, post the end of U.S. earnings season, perhaps adjusting, looking forward to Canadian earnings," he added.

Canada's biggest banks report third-quarter earnings starting with Bank of Montreal BMO.TO next Tuesday followed by Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) later in the week. Bank of Nova-Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) follows the week after.

The heavyweight banking sector rose 0.5 percent, while energy stocks fell 0.4 percent as U.S. crude CLc1 posted its biggest weekly gain since March in a rally analysts cautioned was not justified by fundamentals.

Gold XAU= fell more than 1 percent, hurting the TSX's hefty gold mining component.

The most influential weights on the index included Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), which fell 1.5 percent to C$26.48.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch