CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as oil fall hurts energy companies

Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:35am EST
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* TSX down 15.84 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,098.55
    * Investors await Federal Reserve meeting next week

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
slipped slightly on Friday, with the decline led by heavyweight
banking stocks and with shares of energy companies lagging as
oil prices fell.
    Broad price action is expected to be muted in the session
and through until the U.S. Federal Reserve holds its
policy-setting meeting on Dec. 17 and 18.
    "It's going to be quiet until the Fed meeting next week,"
said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH
    The U.S. central bank is not expected to curtail its
stimulus - which has helped push U.S. indices to record-highs -
at this meeting, but Hutcheon said any surprise reduction in the
amount of money the Fed is pumping into the financial system
should be seen as a positive for the broader economy.
    "If they pull back and the market falls, it could be a
buying opportunity," he said. 
    Potash Corp gained 1.9 percent to C$32.98 after
China's Sinochem announced a one-year renewal of its three-year
exclusive potash deal with Canpotex, the Canadian potash
    The heaviest weights on the index were a mixed bag, with
Canadian National Railway Co off 0.9 percent at
C$57.88, Bank of Nova Scotia down 0.5 percent at
C$62.65, and Suncor Energy Inc losing 0.8 percent to
    The price of Brent crude fell towards $108 a barrel, though
the spread between Brent and U.S. oil has narrowed to the
benefit of Canadian producers. 
    Telecom companies also weighed, with Telus Corp 
slipping 1.4 percent to C$35.90 and BCE Inc down 0.8
percent at C$45.25.
    By mid-morning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was trading down 15.84 points, or 0.12
percent, at 13,098.55.