March 19, 2015 / 11:49 AM / 4 years ago

TSX declines as Fed rally reversed, oil shares drop

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR3VBYO

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, reversing the previous session’s gain, as investors digested comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve, while shares of energy producers dropped with oil prices.

The U.S. central bank took a step towards raising interest rates on Wednesday by removing the word “patient” from its policy statement. But its move to downgrade its economic growth and inflation projections signaled to investors that a rate hike might not happen until later in the year, and that spurred a stock market rally on Wednesday.

The market curbed its enthusiasm on Thursday, with the drop on the Toronto stock market’s benchmark TSX index following gains in each of the three previous sessions. The index is up about 2 percent so far this year.

“Investors are going over (the Fed’s) words with a fine-tooth comb,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management, who said he expects a lot market choppiness this year.

“The volatility does present some opportunities,” he said, noting that energy shares were looking more attractive after being sold off as oil prices have dropped.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 88.31 points, or 0.59 percent, at 14,873.93. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Shares of banks and insurers fell. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was down 0.7 percent at C$53.64, and Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF.TO) lost 0.2 percent to C$40.11.

In the energy sector, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) fell 2.7 percent to C$36.72, and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) dropped 1.5 percent to C$35.41.

($1=$1.27 Canadian)

Editing by Grant McCool; and Peter Galloway

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