Oil prices, profit-taking drag TSX lower

Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:37pm EST
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell on Friday as weaker oil prices, caused partly by a stronger U.S. dollar, weighed on resource issues, including Suncor Energy Inc.

Suncor dropped 0.5 percent to C$38.07, while Canadian Natural Resources fell 0.7 percent to C$70.60. Barrick Gold, another top mover on the downside, fell 0.7 percent to C$47.00.

Oil prices fell below $77 a barrel, with the U.S. dollar rising for a second straight session as investor risk tolerance shrank.

"Oil is down a bit and that obviously has a big impact on our market," said Jennifer Radman, vice-president and associate portfolio manager at Caldwell Investment Ltd.

The S&P/TSX composite index ended down 20.97 points, or 0.18 percent, at 11,579.33, with six of its 10 main groups lower. The index was up 1.5 percent for the week and touched a 13-month high on Wednesday.

Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc, said investors locked in some profits after the market's recent gains.

"I think this is what we're going to see. We're going to see choppy markets for the next while. We're not going to see strong trends," he said.

The TSX followed global markets lower on Friday as investors cut their exposure to riskier assets.   Continued...

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA)</p>