March 22, 2016 / 2:33 PM / a year ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls after Brussels attack, investors eye budget

3 Min Read

(Updates prices)

* TSX down 26.73 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,534.36

* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups were lower

TORONTO, March 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Tuesday, led by losses for financial stocks as deadly blasts in Brussels prompted a flight towards safe-haven assets such as gold, helping boost shares of gold miners.

Travel-related stocks fell, with Air Canada down 1.9 percent at C$8.99 and Westjet Airlines Ltd off 2.9 percent at C$19.45. Canadian National Railway fell 1 percent to C$80.69. Industrials fell 0.8 percent.

Thirty-four people were killed in attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital on Tuesday, according to public broadcaster VRT, triggering security alerts across Europe and bringing some cross-border traffic to a halt.

The most influential weights on the Canadian index also included some of the biggest banks, with Royal Bank of Canada falling 0.7 percent to C$74.82 and Bank of Nova Scotia off 0.5 percent at C$63.33.

The financials group slipped 0.6 percent.

At 10:14 a.m. EDT (1414 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 26.73 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,534.36.

Eight of the index's 10 main groups were in negative territory.

Investors are awaiting the new Liberal government's first federal budget, which is due at 4 p.m. EDT. The government is expected to run a C$29 billion deficit in fiscal 2016-17, a Reuters poll last week showed, as it borrows more to increase infrastructure spending in the hopes of boosting growth.

Gold rallied more than 1 percent after the Brussels attacks, helping boost the index's materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, up 0.4 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp advanced 1.7 percent to C$19.53 and Yamana Gold Inc gained 2.9 percent to C$4.22.

The energy group was barely lower, in line with a slip in oil prices.

Veresen Inc advanced 9.7 percent to C$9.49 after the energy company said it would pay a dividend. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp Editing by W Simon)

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