* TSX falls 0.17 percent to 11,696.63
* Energy, telecoms lead drop, 6 of 10 sectors fall (Updates to close with details and commentary)
By Cameron French
TORONTO, July 28 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended lower on Wednesday as investors took a cautious approach in the face of weak earnings reports, mixed commodity prices, and disappointing U.S. economic data.
Weaker oil prices pulled the index’s heavily weighted energy sector down 1.29 percent, while telecom stocks fell 1.6 percent on the back of a 3.4 percent drop in the shares of wireless carrier Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO).
Rogers fell C$1.24 to C$35.59 one day after it reported stronger earnings, but stood pat on its outlook, suggesting a softer second half.
The decline was the second straight day of losses for the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE and followed a 6 percent three-week surge that analysts said may have run its course.
“It certainly seems like the market’s taking a breather,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
An unexpected 1 percent decrease in U.S. durable goods orders and a retreat in the U.S. Conference Board’s consumer confidence index put a damper on investor sentiment, but Picardo said the main focus was on corporate results.
“I think the earnings reports will drive the markets for the next little while,” he said.
The TSX index ended the session down 20.06 points, or 0.17 percent, at 11,696.63. Six of the 10 TSX subgroups lost ground.
Among energy companies, Husky Energy (HSE.TO) sank 3.8 percent to C$25.40, after reporting a 23 percent drop in second-quarter profit, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) slid 2.3 percent to C$36.00.
Oil prices fell nearly 1 percent, extending losses after weak inventory data further fueled doubts about the pace of recovery in energy demand. [O/R]
Pipeline company Enbridge (ENB.TO) fell 2 percent to C$50.53, as the company dealt with a rupture in an oil pipeline in Michigan.
“It’s choppy maybe because traders are a little nervous, but there’s not really any new information coming out into the market,” said Aaron Fennell, senior market strategist and portfolio manager at Lind Waldock.
The TSX materials sector rose 0.8 percent, as copper and gold prices gained ground, although company-specific news pressured some issues.
Zambia-focused copper miner Equinox Minerals EQN.TO gained 3.6 percent to C$4.66, while Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) climbed 1.8 percent to C$16.40.
Weighing on the group was nickel miner Sherritt International (S.TO), which dropped 3.8 percent to C$6.80 after reporting second-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates.
$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway