May 9, 2008 / 9:12 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks hit by profit-taking despite oil

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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO, May 9 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index finished in the red on Friday as profit-taking cooled the energy sector even though oil prices hit another record high.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE dropped 86.80 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 14,521.19.

“We had such a very good day yesterday and this market is still a very tricky market, so we probably ran into some profit-taking today,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd. The index rose more than 200 points on Thursday.

Eight of the 10 main subgroups on the benchmark ended lower, including the key energy and materials sectors, which dropped 0.52 percent and 1.83 percent, respectively. Financials inched 0.06 percent lower.

The S&P/TSX 60 index of Canadian large-cap stocks lost 5.99 points, or 0.69 percent, to end at 863.46.

Oil shares fell even though crude jumped to a record high above $126 a barrel, extending its gains on fuel supply concerns and speculator buying.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) was among the energy companies that fell, losing C$1.85, or 1.9 percent, to C$94.15 a day after it reported a surge in quarterly profit because of rocketing oil prices.

Oil and gas powerhouse EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) fell 96 Canadian cents, or 1.1 percent, to end at C$86.52.

“The stocks are down for a change, they’re not following their commodity,” Kinsey said.

Gold prices moved higher on the back of oil on Friday -- an increase not reflected in the shares of gold producers such as Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which fell C$1.49, or 3.6 percent, to finish at C$39.51.

Among companies reporting results, ACE Aviation Holdings ACEa.TO, parent of airline Air Canada ACa.TO, posted a first-quarter loss on Friday because of one-time charges and said it would buy back about 42 percent of its stock. Its shares spiked C$1.41, or 7 percent, to C$21.46.

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 120.90 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 12,745.88. There, a dismal set of results from insurance behemoth American International Group (AIG.N) raised doubts that the end of the credit crisis was near.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq moved lower by 5.72 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,445.52.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Peter Galloway

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