(Updates closing numbers, adds details)
* TSX ends lower for fifth session in a row
* Soft commodity prices weigh on resource issues
* Tech sector buoyed by Nortel
By Leah Schnurr
TORONTO, June 12 (Reuters) - Weak resource issues sent the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index tumbling on Thursday for the fifth day in a row as commodity prices spent much of the day in negative territory.
Energy companies and miners led the way down as gold and oil prices were pressured by a gaining U.S. dollar, although oil was able to make a small late-day bounce amid worries over a possible strike in Nigeria.
“(Resource) stocks really haven’t had a chance to catch up yet,” said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd. in Calgary.
“As people come to the realization that the commodity is still back up again, quite possibly tomorrow, we’ll see some strength back into the sector.”
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 113.93 points, or 0.77 percent, at 14,602.59 with four of its 10 main sectors pointing lower.
The energy sector gave up 1.4 percent, while the resource-laden materials group slipped 1 percent.
The small tech sector was able to add 1.7 percent, with help from a second day of big gains from Nortel Networks NT.TO. Nortel was up 80 Canadian cents, or 8.5 percent, at C$10.22 a day after it gave an upbeat presentation of its business plans.
Holiday travel firm Transat AT TRZb.TO was the biggest lift on the market after its second-quarter profit slid but still came in better than expected. Transat climbed C$1.67, or 8.6 percent, to C$21.08.
“If you look at it on an adjusted EPS basis, the numbers were fairly consistent with last year and the revenue was pretty strong,” said Cameron Doerksen, an analyst with Versant Partners.
The benchmark also had its eye on acquisition activity around the world as it was pushed and pulled by optimism over InBev’s INTB.BR $46.3 billion bid for Anheuser-Busch, and gloom after Yahoo YHOO.O said its latest round of talks with Microsoft (MSFT.O) had ended without a deal.
“The market’s a little fickle at the moment,” said Kerkovius.
“I think the general message is the financing is available for the right deals because if you look at the cast of suspects who are sitting there banking the InBev-Anheuser-Busch transaction, it’s all your favorite big names.”
Shares of Compton Petroleum CMT.TO jumped 72 Canadian cents, or 6 percent, to C$12.80 after the natural gas explorer gave in to the urgings of its biggest shareholder and put itself up for sale.
Market volume was 361 million shares worth C$7.1 billion. Decliners outpaced advancers 923 to 642. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed down 8.29 points, or 0.94 percent, at 870.78.
In New York, stocks got a boost from stronger than expected retail sales, as well as the bid for Anheuser-Busch, which would create the world’s largest brewer.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 57.81 points, or 0.48 percent, at 12,141.58, and the Nasdaq composite index .IXIC added 10.34 points, or 0.43 percent, to 2,404.35. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Editing by Rob Wilson)