* TSX down 0.79 pct at 10,432.35
* Energy sector off 1.13 percent on lower oil prices
* Financial group turns lower at session’s end (Adds details, quotes)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished lower on Wednesday for a second straight day, in a broad retreat led by energy and materials issues.
Financial shares also turned lower heading into the end of the session, erasing the support they had given the TSX for most of the day.
The TSX’s energy group seesawed throughout the day in a volatile session, eventually finishing down 1.13 percent, as the price of oil CLc1 settled lower at $65.40 a barrel, though off session lows.
Suncor, which is taking over Petro-Canada to become the country’s largest oil company, reported a second-quarter loss, hit by low oil and gas prices. Another major energy player, Precision Drilling Trust PD_u.TO, said its second-quarter profit surged, thanks to its takeover of Grey Wolf Inc late last year. [ID:nN22314803]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) fell 0.55 percent to C$36.00, while Petro-Canada PCA.TO lost 0.43 percent to C$45.95. Precision Drilling was up 0.37 percent at C$5.48.
Energy sector member Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was the most influential mover to the downside, off 3.2 percent at C$60.57.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 82.97 points, or 0.79 percent, at 10,432.35. Nine of its 10 main groups were lower, with the exception of the information technology group, which eked out a 0.08 percent gain.
It was the index’s second straight lower close after a six-session rally.
“We’ve had a nice little run, but when you look at the charts the charts are telling me that this has been coming,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The mining-laden materials sector also dragged on the overall index, falling 1.2 percent. One of the biggest decliners was Potash Corp (POT.TO), down 3.05 percent at C$97.50, as the outlook for global fertilizer prices tumbled.
German company K+S SDFG.DE became the latest potash supplier to sign a $460 per tonne supply deal with India for the crop nutrient, cementing a slump in prices that has weighed on global potash companies’ shares. [ID:nLM297548]
The financial group was a bright spot for much of the session, encouraged by strong domestic retail sales [ID:nN22252766] and better than expected U.S. corporate earnings.
“As you look to the States, for the most part earnings are coming in positive relative to expectations,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.
However, the financial group sold off in the last hour of the session, finishing 0.18 percent lower, and accelerated the TSX’s decline.
Still, some key names offset the losses. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), one of the most influential movers to the upside, finished with a 0.26 percent advance to C$49.60, while Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) followed with a 0.89 percent rise to C$32.99.
$1=$1.10 Canadian Additional reporting by Nina Lex; editing by Rob Wilson