CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as lower oil prices, weak retail sales data weigh

Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:07pm EST
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(New throughout, updates prices and market activity, adds comments from portfolio manager, details on health care and financial stocks)

* TSX closed down 117.96 points, or 0.91 percent, at 12,813.40

* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups fall

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Friday, led by a drop in health care, energy and financial sector stocks, as crude oil prices tumbled and domestic retail sales disappointed.

The health care group fell 3.7 percent. It included a 9.6 percent slide in the shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to C$117.00.

The energy group retreated 1.7 percent while the heavyweight financials group fell 0.5 percent, as domestic data showed signs of slowing consumer demand and growing inflationary pressures.

Signs of weaker economic growth has joined uncertainty related to energy loan books and an "overheated housing market," adding to investor concerns about bank stocks, according to Diana Avigdor, head of trading at Barometer Capital Management.   Continued...