CANADA STOCKS-TSX down as oil, gold weigh on resource stocks

Mon Sep 8, 2014 5:00pm EDT
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(Adds strategist comment, updates prices to close)
    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Monday as weaker commodities prices, including oil's drop
below $100 a barrel, weighed on shares of energy and mining
    Brent crude fell below the psychologically important
$100 a barrel level before ending in three-digit territory,
while gold also fell more than 1 percent to a three-month low.
    The Toronto index is dominated by resource stocks, and the
heavyweight energy and materials sectors
were the biggest drags, losing 1.5 percent and 1.2 percent
     Helping mitigate the market's losses was Goldman Sachs
raising its share-price target for Canada's two biggest
railways. Canadian National Railway gained 1 percent to
C$80.69 after the upgrade, while Canadian Pacific Railway
 got a smaller bump, rising 0.2 percent to C$225.79..
    While the resource retreat was negative, investors seemed
content to stick with profitable names that have provided
    "We're going through a little bit of short-term adjustment
in various sectors of our market and I don't think that what you
see today is going to be long-lived," said Fred Ketchen,
director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
    "There's certainly been far more modest, careful buyers than
there are anxious sellers," he said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended the session down 60.53 points, or 0.39 percent,
at 15,509.39. The benchmark index is still up about 14 percent
for the year so far and is not far from its record high.
    In the energy group, Canadian Natural Resources was
down 1.7 percent at C$44.72, while Suncor Energy dropped
1.2 percent to C$43.55.
    After the bell, Encana Corp said it would sell off
its 54 percent stake in PrairieSky Royalty Ltd in a
bought deal that should raise C$2.6 billion. It had slipped 0.5
percent to C$24.70 prior to the news.
    Also in the energy sector, shares of Athabasca Oil Corp
 fell 1.6 percent to C$7.24. The company said on Monday
it had increased its capital budget for the year and that its
chief executive would retire at the end of the month.
    Bombardier Inc climbed 1.1 percent at C$3.67 after
the company resumed flight-testing its much-delayed CSeries jet
on Sunday. 
    "We've had a nice move this year. Last year the TSX didn't
do half as well as the S&P 500, so this is our catch-up year,"
said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial
Services in Toronto.
    "The market is reasonably valued given low interest rates,
no inflation and pretty robust earnings and good balance
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter
Galloway and Cynthia Osterman)