CANADA STOCKS-TSX closes lower as financial shares fall

Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:26pm EDT
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 * TSX ends down 21.34 points at 11424.61
 * Financial shares headline latest retreat
 * Energy shares help cushion overall drop
 (Adds details, comments and official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
rallied off a one-week low but still closed lower for a third
straight session on Monday as investors avoided commitments
ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week.
 The index's heavily weighted financials group led the
latest slide as investors opted to avoid big positions,
possibly until Wednesday, when the Fed's Federal Open Market
Committee (FOMC) is expected to hold interest rates unchanged
at near zero percent.
 Shares of insurer Manulife Financial MFC.TO, the biggest
drag on the index, closed down 1.8 percent to C$22.37, while
Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO fell 0.9 percent to C$67.95.
 The index's fall was limited as some big energy stocks
pushed higher on hopes of higher prices for oil and natural gas
down the road.
 Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 2.4 percent to
C$73.92, while Imperial Oil IMO.TO ended the session up 2
percent at C$41.34.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 21.34
points, or 0.19 percent, at 11,424.61.
 Shortly after the session started, the TSX fell 1 percent
to 11,329.50, its lowest level since Sept. 14. It subsequently
rallied off that low but never entered positive territory.
 "There's no conviction but that's quite typical when you
have something else as critical as the FOMC news later this
week," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global
Securities in Vancouver.
 "But the bottom line is that the market continues to be
tremendously resilient. I think a lot of money is on the
sidelines and some of it may have been put to work here."
 ($1=$1.08 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway)