* TSX ends down 146.66 points, or 1.04 pct, at 13,892.73
* All 10 main groups lower
* Materials, energy lead decline (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index retreated on Monday as commodity prices fell from recent lofty levels, driving energy and mining shares to steep losses.
The most influential decliners were in the mining and energy sectors, which combined make up about half of the TSX’s main index.
The materials sector, home to mining companies, was down 1.8 percent while oil and gas stocks were off 1.3 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) dipped 1.5 percent to C$49.74, while Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) dropped 2.6 percent to C$64.65. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was down 1.8 percent at C$43.33 and Nexen Inc NXY.TO tumbled 3.1 percent to C$23.61.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 146.66 points, or 1.04 percent, at 3,892.73, its weakest close since March 21. All of the index’s 10 main groups were in the red, including financials, down 0.5 percent.
Comments last Friday by Federal Reserve officials that the U.S. central bank would have to raise interest rates in the “not-too-distant future” to avoid inflation helped pressure oil and gold prices, as did and easing worries about unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. [GOL/] [O/R]
As well, copper suffered its biggest one-day loss in about three weeks on concerns about softness in Chinese demand and rising inventory levels. Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO slid 2.2 percent to C$51.50. [MET/L]
“Investors are totally geared to having the Fed sit on the sidelines in terms of rate hikes and anything that causes a change in that scenario could have a detrimental impact on equity markets,” said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
He added that “commodity prices have fallen to some extent ... in the hope that the Libyan situation will get resolved sooner rather than later.”
In individual company news, shares of Lululemon Athletica LLL.TO jumped almost 8 percent to C$83.32 after stock pundit Jim Cramer praised the Canadian yoga-wear retailer on his Mad Money show on CNBC on Friday. The company announced two-for-one stock split after the market close. [ID:nN28207842] [ID:nASA01TV3]
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)