TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index made a slight gain in a shortened session on Thursday as energy stocks pared back the previous day’s gains, weighing on a broadly positive but subdued market ahead of the Christmas break.
The exchange will be closed on Friday and Monday.
The energy group, which accounts for almost a fifth of the index’s weight, fell 0.7 percent. Oil prices edged higher while remaining near 11-year lows. [O/R]
“Yesterday they had such a big bounce, it was probably slightly overdone,” said Patrick Blais, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.
While the sharp fall in oil since late 2014 and its stubbornly low price through 2015 have hurt Canadian producers, Blais said the worst may have been priced into the sector now and related areas of the economy could feel the pinch next.
“We have some concerns that the Canadian domestic economy will struggle throughout the year, we think there might be some reverberations within secondary sectors, whether it’s manufacturing linked to the energy space, or even the consumer as the slowdown out west expands throughout Canada,” he said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 24.89 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,309.80.
The overall financials group climbed 0.5 percent.
Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory, with three stocks higher for every two that slipped.
Gold miners gained, as the price of bullion edged higher on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar. Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) gained 3.1 percent to C$16.89 and Barrick Gold Corp rose 2 percent to C$10.85.
Editing by Bernadette Baum