(Corrects paragraph 2 to show five of index’s groups lower, not six)
* TSX down 13.04 points or 0.09 pct, at 14.123.11
* Five of the 10 main groups lower
* Up 2.5 percent on the week (Updates with details, comment)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index halted a four-day winning streak to close modestly lower on Friday, pressured by monetary tightening in China and weakness in mining and financial issues.
Five of the index’s 10 main groups were lower. The materials group, which makes up just under a quarter of the index’s weigh and is home to big mining firms, was down 0.51 percent.
Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO led the retreat, sagging 2.76 percent to C$54.33. Potash Corp (POT.TO) slipped 3.69 percent to C$59.17, while Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) was off 2.05 percent at C$70.26. [MET/L] [GOL/]
“We’re seeing some weakness in a lot of the basic material companies,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management.
Overseas, China raised required bank reserves to a record 19.5 percent, the latest move by the huge consumer of commodities like oil and metals to curb inflation. [ID:nTOE71H068]
“I think, near term, China’s going to be a big focus. They’re having some problems with a property bubble and inflation,” Zohny said.
“We’re probably going to see some more tightening from the Bank of China ... That’s going to put pressure on the commodities-heavy TSX.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 13.04 points, or 0.09 percent at 14,123.11. The index hovered near 2-1/2 year highs, after surging past the 14,000 mark earlier in the week. It gained more than 2.5 percent on the week.
Financial stocks, another index heavyweight, fell 0.24 percent, following six straight sessions of gains that saw the group advance 3 percent.
Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) was down 0.3 percent at C$32.92 while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) fell 0.93 percent to C$80.08.
Offsetting losses was a 0.31 percent gain among energy issues. Talisman Energy TLM.TO was up 2.46 percent to C$24.19 while Husky Energy (HSE.TO) climbed 0.9 percent to C$29.08.
“In terms of energy, that’s one of the bright spots today. Tension in the Middle East continues to keep prices elevated,” said Zohny. [ID:nL3E7DI065]
Some key gold miners found strength in firmer bullion prices. The safe-haven metal was supported by fears over a European debt crisis, rising inflation and growing unrest in the Middle East. [GOL/] [ID:nLDE71H0VI]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 1.82 percent to end at C$50.82.
The TSX will be closed on Monday for Ontario’s Family Day holiday, while four other province, including Alberta, are also observing holidays on Monday.