February 4, 2015 / 3:29 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX declines as energy sector eases after rally

* TSX down 47.55 points, or 0.32 percent, at 15,015.33

* Eight of 10 main index sectors advance

* Suncor, Canadian Natural lead market lower

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday as signs of increasing U.S. crude inventories put pressure on the price of oil and shares of energy companies.

The weakness in oil prices followed four days of gains, when the commodity rebounded off multiyear lows on hopes that production might come down. Investors remain concerned about the supply-demand imbalance in oil.

The market was also affected by a report showing that the U.S. private sector added fewer jobs than expected in January.

The benchmark TSX eased after advancing in each of the previous four sessions. It is up about 2.5 percent so far this year.

“As oil enters a new trading range, we think the opportunities in Canadian equities this year will potentially be in oil and gas stocks,” said Chhad Aul, portfolio manager at Sun Life Global Investments.

“We’re in the early days of turning positive on the energy sector,” he added. “We are not ready to call it a low, but we think there will be significant upside once that new trading range in the oil price is established.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 47.55 points, or 0.32 percent, at 15,015.33. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Shares of energy producers gave back 3.8 percent. Suncor Energy Inc shed 3.2 percent to C$38.23, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 3.6 percent to C$38.15.

The gold-mining sector climbed 1.9 percent, helped by a rise in the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp advanced 2.9 percent to C$16.14, and Goldcorp Inc was up 1.9 percent at C$30.17. (Editing by James Dalgleish)

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