October 27, 2015 / 11:30 AM / in 2 years

TSX down on oil price fall, Fed jitters

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 fell on Tuesday, hurt by a pullback in shares of the country’s two main railways and losses among industrial, utility and energy stocks as oil fell to a multi-week low and investors braced for a Federal Reserve policy statement.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 91.30 points, or 0.66 percent, at 13,699.60.

The heavyweight financial sector was the only one of the index’s 10 main groups to gain, and declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3.5-to-1 ratio.

Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) lost 2.8 percent to C$79.51, pulling back ahead of its earnings after a solid rally. It reported an 18 percent rise in profit after the bell, but said it expects commodity volumes to slip.

Its rival Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) lost 4.7 percent to C$191.76.

The energy group lost 2 percent, while industrial stocks fell 2.9 percent and utilities gave up 1.7 percent.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 2.5 percent to C$29.57 and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 0.9 percent to C$36.71.

U.S. crude prices settled down 1.8 percent at $43.20 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 lost 1.5 percent to $46.81.

“I do not see a catalyst to take the price of oil higher,” said Allan Small, a senior investment advisor at HollisWealth. “I would challenge anyone to find me a reason to buy an oil stock or the actual commodity itself.”

He said yield-sensitive stocks such as utilities and telecoms could come under further pressure if the Fed shocks markets with an interest rate rise on Wednesday or even lays out a path to an eventual tightening of policy.

On the positive side of the ledger, Restaurant Brands International Inc (QSR.TO) advanced 5.3 percent to C$52.84. The owner of Burger King and coffee chain Tim Hortons beat earnings expectations.

Commercial real estate company Colliers International Group CIG.TO jumped 10.4 percent to C$60.90 after its earnings.

Financial technology company D+H Corp DH.TO gained 2.3 percent to C$32.85 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results and dismissing a hedge fund report questioning its growth prospects and accounting practices. The stock had fallen almost 17 percent on Monday.

The overall financials group added 0.4 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 1.2 percent at C$54.87 and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) adding 0.7 percent to C$62.22.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish

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