December 2, 2014 / 12:57 PM / in 3 years

TSX flat as oil, railway stocks rise; BMO leads bank decline

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed marginally lower on Tuesday, with gains in energy and railway stocks offset by weakness from some major banks, gold miners and telecom companies.

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) shares fell 2.3 percent to C$81.42 after the country’s fourth-largest bank kicked off the fourth-quarter reporting season for Canadian lenders with weaker-than-expected profit, hurt by results at its capital markets arm.

Other banks including Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) were also lower on the day.

While crude oil showed no sign of bouncing off its mid-2010 lows, the Canadian resource stocks that produce and sell the commodity or build pipelines to transport it appeared inured to the latest sign of global oversupply.

“In the energy and materials names, a lot of the damage has been done,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd. “Of course things could go lower ... but relative value to other sectors right now are showing some pretty good value.”

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) added 2 percent to C$39.18, TransCanada Corp gained 1.7 percent to C$55.10, and Enbridge Inc moved 1.2 percent higher, to C$52.59.

Both oil prices and energy shares have declined significantly since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided last week not to cut production.

The index’s energy sector has lost about a third of its value since the middle of June.

“It’s difficult to see anything happening to strengthen oil before the end of the year,” said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp, adding investors should be wary of oil companies carrying high levels of debt.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session down 5.25 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,620.07.

The gold-mining sector dropped 2.8 percent, mirroring a similar fall in the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) gave back 3.5 percent to C$13.58, and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) lost 3.4 percent to C$23.25.

($1=$1.14 Canadian)

Additional reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Peter Galloway and Meredith Mazzilli

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