(Updates throughout with details, market moves, analyst’s comment)
* TSX down 44.73 points, or 0.29 percent, at 15,301.34
* Seven of the index’s 10 main groups fall
TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index pared early-session losses on Wednesday, helped by a comeback in energy stocks on a jump in crude prices, but the index remained broadly lower.
Investors were cautious ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement due on Wednesday afternoon that comes after data showed U.S. economic growth stalled in the first quarter, fortifying expectations that the Fed will be in no rush to hike interest rates.
“Unless they’re sure that the economy is going to be all right, I think they’ll just stay the course until the fall,” said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
Among the index’s heavily weighted movers, business software company OpenText Corp fell 6 percent to C$62.63 after it reported disappointing quarterly results that were hurt by a soft Canadian dollar. The index’s tech group was down 1.9 percent.
Other top decliners included two pipeline companies: Enbridge Inc fell 1.3 percent to C$63.95, and Transcanada Corp slid 1.3 percent to C$56.28.
The index’s overall energy group climbed 0.8 percent, however, with Canadian Natural Resources up 0.6 percent at C$40.43, and Crescent Point Energy Corp rising 1.7 percent to C$32.04.
Oil prices climbed following news that U.S. crude stocks increased less than expected last week, while inventories at the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, declined for the first time since November.
U.S. crude prices were up 2.7 percent at $58.62 a barrel, while Brent crude added 2.0 percent to $65.95.
At 11:32 a.m. EDT (1532 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 44.73 points, or 0.29 percent, at 15,301.34.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, seven were in negative territory.
The heavily weighted financials sector, which includes Canada’s top banks and insurers, was down 0.5 percent.
The materials group squeezed out a slight gain, helped by advances by gold miners. In the group, Goldcorp Inc climbed 0.9 percent to C$24.06.
“Gold stocks have really been trashed. The commodity seems to have bounced around a little bit. But ... maybe it’s settled down and maybe the stocks will take hope from that,” said Kinsey, adding that gold miners’ quarterly results so far have been reasonably good.
Declining issues on the TSX index outnumbered advancing ones by 133 to 111, for a 1.20-to-1 ratio on the downside.
$1=$1.20 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway
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