CANADA STOCKS-TSX weakens modestly as commodity prices drop
By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged lower on Monday as weaker commodities prices, including oil's drop below $100 a barrel, weighed on shares of energy and mining companies. Gains in Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway after Goldman Sachs raised its share-price targets for the two companies helped mitigate the market's losses. The railway shares were among the index's biggest gainers. CN Rail was up 0.9 percent at C$80.63, and CP Rail rose 0.5 percent to C$226.36. The heavyweight energy and materials sectors were the biggest drags on the index, losing 1.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively. In the energy group, Suncor Energy dropped 1 percent to C$43.62, while Canadian Natural Resources was down 1.7 percent at C$44.73 as Brent crude fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in more than a year. "The world was a much more nervous place a few months ago. We were concerned about Russia, Ukraine; we were concerned about what was going on in the Middle East," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services in Toronto. "Those headlines have kind of moved off the economy side of the table because it doesn't look like it's impacting the oil supply." Also in the energy sector, shares of Athabasca Oil Corp fell 1.6 percent to C$7.24. The company said on Monday it had increased its capital budget for the year and that its chief executive would retire at the end of the month. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 57.75 points, or 0.37 percent, at 15,512.17. Half of the index's 10 sectors were lower. The benchmark index is still up about 14 percent for the year so far and is not far from its record high. "We've had a nice move this year. Last year the TSX didn't do half as well as the S&P 500, so this is our catch-up year," Schwartz said. "The market is reasonably valued given low interest rates, no inflation and pretty robust earnings and good balance sheets." Bombardier Inc climbed 1.1 percent at C$3.67 after the company resumed flight-testing its much-delayed CSeries jet on Sunday. ($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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