TSX backs off highest level in 13 months as energy stocks weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index on Wednesday broke a five-day winning streak that had lifted it to a 13-month high, with heavyweight energy and financial stocks leading a broad pullback as oil prices fell.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Gains for gold miners helped limit losses, as bullion rose with a weaker U.S. dollar.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 26.19 points, or 0.18 percent, at 14,775.04.

Early in the session the index touched its highest point since mid-June last year, but reversed course after inventory data dragged down crude prices.

The energy sector lost 0.5 percent, with Cenovus Energy Inc CVE.TO down 3 percent at C$18.74 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO off 1 percent at C$40.82.

“If I had to make a prediction for the second half it would be, given how fast the market has moved from the bottom in February, you’re probably safer to gravitate back to the high dividend and yield stocks,” said Luciano Orengo, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

He was referring to sectors such as telecoms, utilities and financials, noting that their valuations have risen along with resource stocks but would suffer less in an overall retreat.

Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended in negative territory, with telecoms barely positive. Decliners outnumbered advancers by a 1.5-to-1 ratio overall.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8 percent, as prices for a string of metals rose as a weaker U.S. dollar supported.

The most influential gainers included major producer Goldcorp Inc G.TO, up 4.3 percent to C$24.78, and smaller operator Detour Gold DGC.TO, which gained 3.4 percent to C$34.53.

Tahoe Resources Inc THO.TO jumped 5.9 percent to C$21.66 after its adjusted earnings beat expectations and it said it expects to hit the top end of its silver production target.

Valeant Pharmaceutical International Inc VRX.TO slipped 3.1 percent to C$35.75. It surged 25 percent on Tuesday after the drug maker unveiled a plan to sell assets to pay down debt.

Financial stocks lost 0.3 percent, with insurers leading the slip. Sun Life Financial Inc SLF.TO was down 1.7 percent at C$42.02 and Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO lost 0.8 percent to C$17.33.

Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Leslie Adler