CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower as banks spoil energy rally

Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:41pm EST
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 * TSX ends down 4.67 points at 11,541.02
 * Up 54 percent since March five-year low
 * Bank shares hold TSX in lower territory
 (Adds details, comments and official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
limped out of a lackluster session almost right where it began
on Tuesday as investors pocketed gains, offsetting the boost
that higher oil prices gave energy shares.
 Key drags on the index included Royal Bank of Canada
RY.TO, which fell 1.6 percent to C$54.82, and
Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, which dropped 1.9 percent to
close at C$65.18.
 The pullback in bank shares followed gains recorded on
Monday after news that Abu Dhabi threw debt-laden neighbor
Dubai a $10 billion lifeline. [ID:nLDE5BD0FV]
 The TSX spent the session locked in a tight range and never
moved more than 47 points either side of the break-even level
as investors had little desire to risk the massive gains
recorded this year. The TSX is up 54 percent since slumping to
a five-year low in March.
 "We had a great year and investors and institutions want to
protect what they have," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager
at ABC Funds. "They might have shut down a little early just to
maintain whatever good performance they had for the year rather
than blow it on something right now."
 Keeping the index from falling further was the rally in key
energy shares as oil prices rose for the first day in 10 on
hopes that colder than normal weather will boost demand for
heating oil. [O/R]
 Shares of EnCana Corp ECA.TO, which at one point in the
session spearheaded a rise in the TSX, rallied 2.3 percent to
C$32.28, while Cenovus Energy CVE.TO shares ended up 2.2
percent at C$26.92.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 4.67
points, or 0.04 percent, at 11,541.02. It has closed lower in
six of the past nine sessions since hitting a 14-month high on
Dec. 3.
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)