(Updates throughout and adds analyst’s comments)
* TSX down 13.94 points, or 0.09 percent, to 15,000.15
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups were lower
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, June 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was lower on Monday, getting June off to a sluggish start as commodity prices drove up mining stocks but pulled down oil and gas shares, while most of the financial sector retreated.
The biggest heavyweight gainer was Bank of Nova Scotia , which rose 1.09 percent to C$66.11, but as a whole the financial group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index, retreated 0.4 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank and other major banks falling. TD declined 1.0 percent to C$53.62.
“The banks reported last week and they were pretty much as advertised. Scotia is up today, but the others are all stuck in the mud,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
“It’s not a very robust start to the new month. We do have the summer doldrums, as they say, coming up,” he added. “But June will have to do something. It’s the quarter-end and the half year-end ... But so far, it’s getting off to a sleepy start.”
At 10:40 a.m. EDT (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 13.94 points, or 0.09 percent, at 15,000.15, reversing earlier gains.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, seven were in negative territory. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by 131 to 107, for a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the downside.
The materials group climbed 0.2 percent, with mining stocks making up five of the index’s top 10 biggest drivers.
Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.2 percent to C$14.89, while Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd climbed 1.3 percent to C$40.55.
Gold futures rose 0.9 percent to $1,199.8 as the greenback cut initial gains after U.S. consumer spending data suggested the economy was growing only moderately early in the second quarter.
“The commodity’s up and all the gold stocks are up for a change,” Kinsey said. “They seem to be stuck in a range here though, as is the commodity. It’s sort of $10 to $20 either side of this $1,200.”
Energy stocks were down 0.6 percent, moving in tandem with softer crude oil prices. U.S. crude was down 0.7 percent to $59.86, while Brent crude lost 0.9 percent to $64.95.
$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway