TSX retreats on oil prices, profit-taking

Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:49pm EST
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index fell for the first time in six sessions on Tuesday as investors cashed in recent profits and weaker oil prices pressured EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) and other energy companies.

EnCana led all decliners, falling 2 percent to C$61.50 while Canadian Natural Resources was off 1.8 percent at C$70.82 as the price of oil fell to around $79 a barrel. <O/R>

Key decliners also included financial names such as Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), down 1.6 percent at C$20.71, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which fell 0.66 percent to C$66.15.

"New York is flat so it's not doing very much; the financials here are a little bit weaker but they were firmer yesterday. Gold is pausing because they had a big run. Oil is down a little bit," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.

"You can call it what you want, if you want to call it profit-taking. It's just a pause."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 60.14 points, or 0.52 percent, at 11,426.74, with eight of its 10 main groups lower.

"We've seen fairly material profit-taking. Coming into November now most long-only funds and hedge funds have fought back a lot of the gains they gave up in 2009 so we've seen a desire to book the gains, take some risk off," said Rick Meslin, head of Canadian equities at UBS.

U.S. stocks were also mixed as investors assessed recent gains. .N   Continued...

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