(Adds fund manager comments, updates shares)
* TSX down 150.05 points, or 0.99 percent, at 15,023.89
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups decline
TORONTO, May 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dropped about 1 percent on Wednesday, hitting a one-month low, as the victory of the New Democratic Party in oil-rich Alberta’s provincial election hit energy shares.
The left-wing NDP beat the Progressive Conservatives in a crushing win that ended the center-right party’s 44-year hold on power in the western Canadian province.
Strategists and fund managers said the win could hurt energy companies, at least temporarily, citing potential policy changes that could weigh on production levels. One fear is that the new government could possibly increase royalty rates.
“The implications of a rise in royalty rates would be quite negative for the Canadian energy sector, coming as it would at a time of unprecedented turmoil caused by the plunge in crude oil prices,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
“The incipient recovery we have been seeing lately in the energy sector could well be quashed,” he added.
Energy stocks, which make up some 22 percent of the TSX’s weight, plunged 2.8 percent on a day which saw crude prices surge to 2015 highs, typically a positive driver for the sector.
“Depending on how aggressive the new tax framework is, it could drive away investment and put downward pressure on energy shares,” said John Stephenson, president of Stephenson & Co Capital Management.
Top decliners on the index included Enbridge Inc, which fell 2.7 percent to C$60.05; Suncor Energy Inc, which tumbled 3.4 percent to C$37.03; and Canadian Natural Resources, which lost 2.9 percent to C$38.48.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 150.05 points, or 0.99 percent, at 15,023.89. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Financial shares, another big index mover, were down 0.6 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada falling 0.7 percent to C$79.09. (Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Ted Botha)
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