CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as bank, energy shares weaken

Wed Mar 4, 2015 4:51pm EST
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* TSX down 51.01 points, or 0.34 percent, at 15,082.84

* Energy shares slip with Brent crude

By John Tilak

TORONTO, March 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as shares of banks dropped after their quarterly earnings reports and energy shares declined with the price of Brent crude.

Shares of Canada's major banks have been choppy since the banks began reporting results last week. It was a mixed quarter overall, with Bank of Nova Scotia capping off the earnings season by posting a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, fell 0.2 percent on Wednesday. Scotiabank lost 0.9 percent to C$65.17, and Great-West Life shed 1 percent to C$34.92.

"Margins are tightening for the Canadian financial sector," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. "The group is acting fairly toppy. I think it has seen its best days."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell for a second straight session, closing down 51.01 points, or 0.34 percent, at 15,082.84.

The market had little reaction to news that the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady and signaled satisfaction with how the market and the economy have reacted to its rate cut in January.

Shares of energy producers gave back 0.3 percent as oil prices fell. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd dropped 0.4 percent to C$36.78, and Suncor Energy Inc was down 0.5 percent at C$37.39.

($1=$1.24 Canadian) (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Peter Galloway)