3 Min Read
(Adds portfolio manager comment, updates prices to close)
* TSX ends down 48.19 points, or 0.32 percent, at 15,072.83
* Nine of the TSX's 10 main industry groups fall
* Shares in oil/gas companies buck trend as crude prices rise
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, May 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, ending a three-session winning streak, as heavyweight banking issues led a broad decline, interrupted by oil and gas company gains on rebounding crude prices.
The country's biggest banks will report quarterly earnings next week, giving investors an updated view of the broader economic environment.
Bank of Nova Scotia pulled back 1.3 percent to C$64.44 and Royal Bank of Canada slipped 0.6 percent to C$79.60.
"It's just leaking a little bit here today," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd. "It's two steps forward and one step backward; we're moving forward, but it's very slow."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 48.19 points on the day, or 0.32 percent, at 15,072.83, with energy the sole gainer out of the ten main sectors on the index. Decliners outnumbered advancing issues by 137 to 105, for a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the downside.
Kinsey said investors mostly shrugged off minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's April meeting that showed policymakers believed it would be premature to raise interest rates in June.
"This market is climbing a wall of worry, there's so much political noise and then there's a lot of economic noise," he said.
Suncor Energy Inc was among the most influential gainers, rising 0.8 percent to C$36.41, while Canadian Natural Resources advanced 0.6 percent to C$37.95.
The overall energy group, which make up some 20 percent of the TSX, climbed 0.7 percent.
"The recent weakness of the U.S. dollar has helped some of the commodities in Canada," said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director, institutional equity research, CIBC World Markets.
U.S. crude prices were up 1.3 percent to $58.73, while Brent crude added 1.2 percent to $64.78.
Constellation Software Inc gained 2.7 percent to C$511 after the acquisitive company bought a healthcare target.
The industrial group was 0.8 percent lower, with Canadian National Railway Co off 1.1 percent at C$73.74. (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Meredith Mazzilli and G Crosse)