Oils and golds not enough as TSX ends lower

Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:26pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX fell slightly on Tuesday as strength in commodity prices was not enough to offset a drop in banking shares, which, led lower by Royal Bank of Canada, mirrored weakness in U.S. financial issues.

Without much Canadian news to influence the market, investors were discomforted by a downgrade on Goldman Sachs Group to "neutral" from "buy".

Financials, which make up about a third of the index's weighting, fell 1.6 percent, with all five of Canada's biggest banks and two of its largest insurers among the top 11 most notable decliners.

Royal, Canada's biggest bank, topped all decliners, falling 1.5 percent to C$55.13, followed by Toronto-Dominion Bank, down 1.8 percent at C$64.64. Insurer Manulife lost 2 percent to C$22.08.

The oil and gas and materials groups, which together account for more than 40 percent of the index's weighting, were well supported by a record high gold price and a fourth straight session of higher oil prices.

Suncor Energy was the top heavyweight advancer, up 2.9 percent to C$38.70. Many of the oil and gas group's biggest names were not far behind Suncor, including Canadian Natural Resources, up 2.7 percent at C$74.95, and Canadian Oil Sands Trust, up 4.1 percent at C$33.70.

Most gold-mining shares were also higher, including Yamana, up 3.7 percent at C$13.09.

"Oil and gold are not enough to hold the whole index and financials just slowed things down," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.   Continued...

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