(Updates market action and adds analyst’s comments)
* TSX down 52.97 points, or 0.37 percent, at 14,323.27
* Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups were down
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday, but was well off session lows, as weakness in heavily weighted bank, oil, and mining shares continued to pressure the market.
Oil prices dropped as U.S. inventories rose, with U.S crude prices down 1.2 percent at $50.25 a barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.7 percent to $56.64.
Those drops pulled the Toronto index’s energy sector down 0.7 percent after a bigger loss earlier in the day.
Pipeline company Enbridge Inc topped the index’s losers, giving up 1.82 percent to C$56.61. Oil producer Canadian Natural Resources was not far behind, declining 1.0 percent to C$31.43.
At 11:12 a.m. EDT (1512 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 52.97 points, or 0.37 percent, at 14,323.27. That was well off the 1 percent drop hit shortly after the open.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, six were in negative territory. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones for a 1.95-to-1 ratio on the downside. The index was posting five new 52-week highs and 39 new lows.
“It’s the summer doldrums, so there are few bulls around,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
“Technically we’re oversold, we’re due for at least the odd dead-cat bounce ... but I suspect this has got to wring itself out.”
The index’s materials group, home to mining companies, also pared earlier losses, but was still trading 0.7 percent lower. First Quantum Minerals fell 3.6 percent to C$13.49.
Gold futures fell 1.3 percent to $1,088.70. Prices had slid to five-year lows as investors continued to pull away from the safe-haven precious metal. Copper prices slipped 1.6 percent to $5,366.5 a tonne. Prices touched a two-week low on rising concerns over demand from China, a top consumer.
Financials were off 0.3 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada giving back 0.6 percent to C$76.13.
Bombardier Inc was also a heavy decliner, falling more than 16.1 percent to C$1.50. The struggling Canadian plane and train maker’s CSeries jetliner program has been plagued with years of cost overruns and delays, while the company has made a long string of management changes over the past year.
Among gainers, Canadian Pacific Railway recouped some of Tuesday’s sell-off after it cut its full-year forecasts, and rose 3.9 percent to C$202.62.
$1=$1.30 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway