OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index ended lower on Monday, weighed down by losses for heavyweight banking stocks after two days of strong gains, and as the country’s technology sector tracked the larger U.S. tech group down.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 89.41 points, or 0.58 percent, at 15,383.80. Seven of its 10 main sectors fell.
Investor enthusiasm for equity markets has been dampened by stretched valuations, said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates.
“The assumptions have been that politics and interest rates wouldn’t matter that much ... I think some of those assessments are coming out of the market.”
The Federal Reserve is expected on Wednesday to raise interest rates for the third time since December, while comments by a senior Bank of Canada official raised the prospect that the central bank could hike rates sooner than investors had anticipated.
The financials group, which accounts for one third of the TSX’s weight, declined 0.7 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) fell 1.1 percent to C$94.26.
The energy sector .SPTTEN was little changed as oil prices broke a three-day losing streak despite rising U.S. drilling. [O/R]
U.S. crude oil futures settled 25 cents higher at $46.08 a barrel.
Cenovus Energy <CVE.TO advanced 2.4 percent to C$11.37 but Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) fell 2.2 percent to C$51.00.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, fell 0.8 percent.
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO) dropped 1.7 percent to C$22.51, while gold XAU= was little changed at $1,265.20 an ounce ahead of the Fed meeting this week.
Shares of aircraft manufacturer Bombardier (BBDb.TO) rose nearly 3 percent to C$2.44, recovering from a decline on Friday, when the U.S. International Trade Commission gave a green light to the U.S. Commerce Department to begin preparing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties against Bombardier’s new jets.
Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by W Simon and Grant McCool