CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as resource, bank stocks lead losses

Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:05am EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, March 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was lower on Friday, with the declines led by natural resource shares, pulled lower by a retreat in commodity prices, and bank stocks.

Among the most influential movers on the index were oil companies Enbridge Inc, which was down 1.3 percent at C$60.26, and Transcanada Corp which was off 1.48 percent at C$53.75. The overall energy group was down 0.8 percent.

Crude prices fell on Friday as concerns over crude supplies in the Middle East following an air strike in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its allies, receded.

"It's all the oils again. The problems in Yemen are not going to have any side effects," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 48.59 points, or 0.3 percent, at 14,821.21. Six of index's 10 main groups were in positive territory, but index heavy-weights - financials, materials, and energy stocks - were all lower.

Other key decliners included Royal Bank of Canada, which fell 0.84 percent to C$75.15, and the Toronto Dominion Bank, which declined 0.86 percent to C$53.18. The overall financial group retreated 0.84 percent.

"The banks have been poor performers for a while. People have a negative view of market and they're using them as a source of cash - they're easy to sell, they're easy to buy," Cockfield said.

"They are economy stocks, and from an economic standpoint, it looks like we're going to have a slow year. But we still like them."

The materials group, home to mining firms, were off nearly 0.9 percent as gold and copper prices slipped.

Blackberry Ltd shares were among the advancers, rising 3.4 percent to C$11.99 after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and offered signs its turnaround efforts may be gaining traction. (Reporting by Solarina Ho Editing by W Simon)