TSX falls for second day as oil knocked back

Wed Apr 7, 2010 5:13pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended lower for a second straight session on Wednesday, pulled down in a broad selloff that was led by the energy group, while firm golds offset a portion the losses.

Nine of the index's 10 main groups were lower, with the oil and gas group the top laggard, down 1.47 percent. The price of crude oil, an important Canadian export, broke a six-day rising streak to settle below $86 a barrel, prompting profit-taking.

Shares of Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest oil company, lost 1.65 percent, while EnCana Corp fell 1.86 percent to C$32.25.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 45.81 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,110.90. At the start of the week, the index hit 12,203.39, its highest level since September 2008.

"The market has come such a long way and we're really just going through a pause and digestion phase right now," said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management in Waterloo, Ontario.

Investors may also have been mulling the impact of a firmer Canadian dollar, which touched parity with the U.S. dollar for the second time this week before slipping again.

After a dismal start to the year, the main Toronto index has steadily gained on a combination of better economic conditions in Canada and higher commodity prices. The index is up around 10 percent from its 2010 low point in February.

The trend might continue as optimism among Canadian investors rose sharply in the latest quarter, according to a survey by Manulife Financial released on Wednesday.   Continued...

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