* TSX down 26.79 points, or 0.18 percent, at 15,093.12
* Decliners outnumber advancers by 1.9-to-1 ratio
TORONTO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index slipped on Tuesday, with gains for financial stocks offset by losses for oil companies as crude prices fell.
Precious metals miners also lost ground as the price of gold pulled back on easing geopolitical tensions over North Korea.
The heavyweight energy group retreated 0.4 percent as oil prices were pressured by a stronger U.S. dollar and as data showed Chinese refineries operated in July at their slowest daily rates since September.
Suncor Energy Inc slipped 0.4 percent to C$40.68, and Pembina Pipeline Corp fell 0.9 percent to C$40.34.
U.S. crude prices were down 0.8 percent to $47.23 a barrel, while Brent lost 1.0 percent to $50.23.
Major financial stocks were among the index’s most influential gainers, although the group only notched a 0.1 percent overall. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.5 percent to C$64.36.
Data released on Tuesday showed lending to Canadian small businesses rose for a fifth straight month in June on stronger activity in construction and other major industries.
At 10:16 a.m. ET (1416 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 26.79 points, or 0.18 percent, at 15,093.12.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1.9-to-1 ratio.
Among the market’s biggest percentage losers, Prometic Life Sciences Inc tumbled 9.1 percent to C$1.20 after the biopharmaceutical company reported quarterly revenue that sharply missed expectations.
Specialty food company Premium Brands Holdings Corp rose 5.3 percent to C$101.53 as several analysts increased their price targets following an earnings beat.
Grocery chain Metro Inc lost 1.9 percent to C$42.05 after reporting lower same-store sales and third-quarter earnings that missed expectations.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.5 percent.
Shares of companies mining gold retreated after the price of the metal declined as North Korea signaled it would delay a decision on firing missiles towards Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.
Gold, seen as a safe haven in times of uncertainty, had hit a two-month high of $1,291.86 on Friday after a week of escalating military threats between Washington and Pyongyang.
Barrick Gold Corp fell 0.7 percent to C$21.12, and Goldcorp Inc declined 0.4 percent to C$16.24.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by W Simon
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