CANADA STOCKS-TSX retreats from near 18-month high as bond yields rise

Thu Dec 1, 2016 5:01pm EST
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(Adds analyst comments and details on bond yields and updates prices)

* TSX ends down 55.32 points, or 0.37 percent, at 15,027.53

* Index touches its highest intraday in nearly 18 months

* Six of the TSX's 10 main groups end lower

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Thursday, pulling back from an earlier near 18-month high as a jump in bond yields pressured defensive stocks, offsetting further gains for energy shares as oil rallied.

Some of the biggest drags on the index were groups that have benefited most from the low interest rate environment.

The telecommunications group fell 1.3 percent, with BCE Inc down 1.5 percent at C$57.05, while consumer staples declined 1.7 percent as Alimentation Couche Tard Inc dropped 2.9 percent to C$60.19.

Investors may be "beginning to think that there is a limit to how high the stock market can continue going up if bond rates also continue to go up," said Mathieu D'Anjou, senior economist at Desjardins Group.   Continued...