(Updates and adds details, analyst’s comments)
* TSX down 5.65 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,195.11
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups higher
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, May 25 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was steady on Monday with losses in oil and gas shares offsetting moderate gains in the heavily weighted financials group and most other sectors, but trade was quiet due to the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.
Investors were looking ahead to Canadian bank quarterly earnings later this week, trying to assess the impact of a lackluster economy and low energy prices on the sector.
“The big thing this week will be bank earnings. Not only what they report, but the tone of what they’re saying. I think they’re going to say the landscape is positive,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
“We have partly recovered here. One time, investors were concerned about the banks’ exposure to energy, but I think that’s passed.”
Financial stocks, which make up more than a third of the index’s weight, were up 0.1 percent with Brookfield Asset Management up 1.0 percent at C$44.55 and Sun Life Financial Inc rising 1.0 percent to C$40.46.
Those modest gains were not enough to offset the 0.6 percent retreat in the energy group, which was the index’s primary loser. U.S. crude prices were down 0.5 percent at $59.4, while Brent crude edged up 0.1 percent to $65.43.
Eight of the 10 biggest drags on the TSX were energy names. The most influential decliner was Enbridge Inc, which fell 1.77 percent to C$60.90. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd followed, declining 1.2 percent to C$38.15.
At 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 5.65 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,195.11. Of the index’s 10 main groups, seven made gains.
Telecoms were up 0.4 percent, while utilities and industrials both rose just over 0.2 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 122 to 115, for a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the upside.
$1=$1.23 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway