CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips after U.S. Fed comments on rate hike plans

Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:02pm EDT
 
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* TSX down 51.66 points, or 0.33 percent, at 15,458.88
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Energy shares track U.S. crude oil price lower

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged
lower on Wednesday as investors digested commentary from the
U.S. Federal Reserve on its outlook for interest rates following
a two-day policy meeting.
    The Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to keep interest
rates near zero for a "considerable time," but also indicated it
could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts
moving. 
    The volatility of global markets has increased in recent
weeks as the Fed statement approached, with the Canadian
benchmark stock index trading sideways after a strong run-up
since the start of the year.
    "There's a sigh of relief that the Fed is staying the course
as far as its monetary policy goes," said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver. 
    "It's a key event that's out of the way," Picardo said.
"Markets are now focusing on other potential catalysts that
could take us higher."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 51.66 points, or 0.33 percent, at
15,458.88. It is up more than 13 percent this year.
    "If the U.S. markets continue to march higher and if the
global economy does well, the TSX should get back to new highs,"
Picardo said.
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
Wednesday.
    Shares of energy producers gave back 1.2 percent, reflecting
weakness in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy Inc
 lost 1 percent to C$43.04 and Canadian Natural Resources
Ltd shed 0.9 percent to C$45.34.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, declined
0.9 percent, with commodity prices showing choppiness. Goldcorp
Inc fell 1.6 percent to C$27.34, and First Quantum
Minerals Ltd was down 0.9 percent at C$22.79. 
    ($1=$1.10 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and Grant McCool)