(Updates market action and adds analyst’s comments)
* TSX drops 59.11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,711.53
* Index’s financials sector hit hardest
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups fall
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, June 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday with the market disappointed by Canadian retail sales data and gripped by concern over the Greece debt crisis.
After two months of gains, retail sales slipped 0.1 percent in April from March as consumers spent less at food and electronic stores. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent rise.
The Greek crisis continued to dog the market, with investors hoping an emergency meeting of euro zone leaders next week will prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt at the end of the month.
“Everybody is primed for Greece,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.
“The markets hate uncertainty. It really boils down to that. This is unknown, the impact, the implications ... who knows what the short-term dislocations will be?”
The most heavily weighted decliners on the index were Royal Bank of Canada, which fell 0.95 percent to C$77.11, and Bank of Nova Scotia, which declined 1.2 percent to C$64.38.
Seven of the 10 biggest drags on the TSX were from the financial group, which retreated 0.9 percent.
“Financials are getting hurt more than anybody today and I think that’s because of the insecurities or uncertainties that surround the (Greece) outcome,” Hutcheon said.
At 10:56 a.m. EDT (1456 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 59.11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,711.53. Of the index’s 10 main sectors, seven were in negative territory.
Other heavy index drags include energy stocks, which slid 0.7 percent. Canadian Natural Resources fell 1.42 percent to C$34.7.
Oil and gas shares were pressured in part by crude prices that fell on Greece worries and expectations that U.S. shale oil output would continue to grow this year. The U.S. crude price was down 1.9 percent at $59.32 a barrel, while Brent crude lost 2.3 percent to $62.79.
The materials group, which together with financials and energy make up roughly two-thirds of the index’s weight, was off 0.5 percent. Health care and industrial stocks were among the few gainers.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 167 to 70, for a 2.39-to-1 ratio on the downside.