September 2, 2014 / 11:24 AM / 3 years ago

TSX slips as weaker commodity prices weigh on resource stocks

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

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dipped marginally on Tuesday as tumbling resource stocks, hurt by falling oil and gold prices, offset gains in financial and industrial stocks.

The retreat comes in the broader context of an ascendant index hitting fresh record highs often during three straight months of gains.

“It’s continued expectation that we’ll be in this Goldilocks recovery, which is growth, but not growth that’s going to be robust,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer of Fundamental Equities at BMO Asset Management Inc.

“In Canada, it’s the offset. Commodities are doing lousy and the financials are holding in.”

Brent crude fell to a 16-month low on concerns over slowing oil demand in China and Europe, while a strong dollar and ample supplies drove U.S. crude to a seven-month low. The greenback rally and falling oil prices also sent gold prices tumbling. [O/R][GOL/]

Energy and gold companies populated the top 10 most influential declining stocks on the TSX, with energy shares down 1.9 percent. The materials group, home to gold miners, fell 1.6 percent.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) led the decliners with a 2.6 percent retreat to C$46.17, followed by Goldcorp Inc G.TO, which fell 4.2 percent to C$29.24.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE eased 6.65 points, to finish at 15,619.08. Seven of the 10 main groups were in positive territory.

“Investors, both institutional and retail in some cases, are buying on the dips, that’s been the story,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.

Offsetting the losses was a 0.4 percent increase in the hefty financials group, which saw Bank of Montreal up 1.2 percent at C$84.62 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gaining 0.8 percent to C$104.77.

The industrials group rose 1.2 percent, helped by Canadian National Railway’s 1.3 percent rise to C$79.10 and Canadian Pacific Railway’s 2.3 percent advance to C$222.88.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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