CANADA STOCKS-BMO, stimulus rollback fears fuel TSX retreat
* TSX down 44.17 points, or 0.35 percent, at 12,639.97 * Nine of 10 main sectors decline * BMO slips after profit miss * Gold shares climb with bullion price By John Tilak TORONTO, May 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, dragged down by a decline in Bank of Montreal < BMO.TO> after the lender's quarterly profit missed estimates, and by investor worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve might roll back its stimulus program. The Toronto market, which has not shared the strong rallies recorded by U.S. stock indexes this year, joined global markets in pulling back, easing after three sessions of gains. However, a higher bullion price, fueled by a weaker dollar and stronger stocks, led to gains in shares of gold producers and kept losses in check. Recent positive economic data renewed concerns that the Fed might end its massive bond-buying program sooner than expected. "We knew that at some point this was going to come to an end," said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management. "Investors perhaps thought, 'Let's not worry about that. It's tomorrow's problem'," he added. "All of a sudden tomorrow's problem becomes today's problem." "The market is attractively valued and companies are in a good enough position that the Fed can ease their quantitative easing program probably in about 18 months," he said. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 44.17 points, or 0.35 percent, at 12,639.97. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.3 percent. BMO gave back 2.5 percent to C$62.13 after the lender's quarterly net profit fell 5 percent due to restructuring costs and lower net interest margins in its Canadian business. The stock declined the most of the country's six largest banks and was one of the biggest negative influences on the market. Energy shares fell 0.3 percent as oil prices traded lower. Enbridge Inc slipped 3.5 percent to C$46.14. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed 0.5 percent, thanks to a 1.4 percent rise in gold shares. Goldcorp Inc climbed 1.7 percent to C$28.05, and Barrick Gold Corp added 2 percent to C$20.07.
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