May 29, 2015 / 3:39 PM / in 2 years

CANADA STOCKS-Pessimism reigns as economic gloom weighs on TSX

* TSX down 107.16 points, or 0.71 percent, to 14,999.84

* All ten main sectors in the red

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, May 29 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dipped on Friday, with heavyweight banks tipping the scales to the downside amid broad pessimism about domestic economic growth and the uncertain outlook for industries tied to energy.

All six of the country’s biggest banks beat earnings estimates this week, but only Bank of Nova Scotia shares made gains by mid-morning, up 0.9 percent at C$65.15, as the No. 3 lender outlined a share buyback plan.

Toronto-Dominion Bank shed 1.8 percent to C$54.38, Royal Bank of Canada lost 1.1 percent to C$79.14 and Bank of Montreal dropped 1.4 percent to C$76.06. Overall, the financials group retreated 0.9 percent.

“They tried to put a mask on by increasing dividends and putting out pretty decent numbers, but when you look at the underlying loan books, you have to be a little bit concerned about what’s going on on the energy side,” Brian Pow, a research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.

Canada’s economy suffered its biggest contraction in nearly six years in the first quarter as the country grappled with a steep fall in oil prices, Statistics Canada said.

The drop in the price of crude has pushed oil producers to scale back operations and investments, which is affecting complementary industries and knocking overall growth.

“Oil-by-rail was a big thing for the rail companies in the past and it’s probably less so today,” Pow said.

Canadian National Railway Co fell 1.3 percent to C$72.96 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd was off 1.3 percent at C$206.11. Industrials, which includes the railways, retreated 0.9 percent.

At 11:29 a.m. ET (1529 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 128.42 points, or 0.85 percent, to 14,978.58. All ten main sectors were in the red, and the index was on track for a 1.3 percent fall for the week.

“People look at today’s economic numbers and say ‘Hey, this is a trend that’s probably going to continue for a while before it gets better,'” Pow said.

U.S. crude prices were up 2.7 percent to $59.26, while Brent crude added 2.9 percent to $64.42.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 148 to 91, for a 1.63-to-1 ratio on the downside. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp, editing by G Crosse)

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