June 24, 2014 / 11:31 AM / 5 years ago

TSX ends sharply lower as resources lead drop from six-year high

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell hard from near-record levels on Tuesday as investors nervous about the pace of the index’s recent fast rise pared positions, particularly in resources stocks.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Oil and gold prices initially pushed higher, with oil driven by concerns over fighting in Iraq, but both retreated late in the session.

The index hit a six-year intraday high of 15,137.68 just after the open, which analysts said likely spooked some investors who have watched the TSX charge ahead 12 percent since early February.

The index’s intraday high is 15,154.77, set in June 2008.

“It’s very natural to expect some caution at these elevated levels. I don’t think we’re hitting a wall. In the absence of any new catalysts, the market might be inclined to drift lower,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session down 143.26 points, or 0.95 percent, at 14,962.37. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index fell.

Shares of energy producers dropped 2.4 percent. While the conflict in Iraq has buoyed oil prices in recent sessions, energy stocks have not always moved in kind, as analysts warn the potential negative impact on global growth of a prolonged conflict offset the positive impact of the higher prices.

Suncor Energy SU.TO fell 3.6 percent to C$44.58, while Husky Energy HSE.TO dropped 3.7 percent to C$34.55.

The mining-heavy materials group slid 1.8 percent, with gold issues leading the way down.

Yamana Gold YRI.TO retreated 5.7 percent to C$8.77, while Kinross Gold K.TO fell 3.7 percent to C$4.48.

Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by James Dalgleish

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