November 3, 2016 / 9:22 PM / in 4 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls to 3-week low as energy shares track oil lower

(Adds portfolio manager quotes, details on Canadian Natural Resources and healthcare stocks, updates prices)

* TSX ends down 11.3 points, or 0.08 percent, at 14,583.42

* Eight of the index’s 10 main groups fall

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday to a three-week low as weaker oil prices sparked a sell-off in energy shares, but the financials and materials groups gained ground.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 11.3 points, or 0.08 percent, to 14,583.42, its lowest close since Oct. 11.

Canadian shares were buffeted as Wall Street stocks extended recent losses. The S&P 500 fell for the eighth straight session.

“It is tough for Canada to get out of the way of that, especially when energy prices are falling, even though the U.S. dollar is weakening,” said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 68 cents lower at $44.66 a barrel as investors reeled from a record weekly surge in U.S. crude inventories.

Enbridge Inc fell 1.8 percent to C$54.96. Canada’s largest pipeline company reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates as warmer-than-expected weather weighed on its unit that distributes natural gas for heating purposes.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell nearly 3 percent to C$40.94 as it reported a bigger-than-expected loss.

The overall energy group declined 0.7 percent, while healthcare dropped nearly 4 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc tumbled 8.75 percent to C$25.86. The sell-off followed news on Wednesday that the drugmaker was being sued on behalf of former investors in Sprout Pharmaceuticals Inc, which Valeant had acquired, over its alleged failure to successfully market the female libido pill Addyi.

Automotive supplier Magna International Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand from Asia and Europe. Still, its shares fell 2.2 percent to C$52.60.

Eight of the S&P/TSX composite index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

The heavily weighted financials group advanced 0.3 percent, helped by a 0.8 percent advance in shares of Manulife Financial Corp to C$19.14.

Encana Corp jumped 5.6 percent to C$13.19. The oil and natural gas producer posted a quarterly profit on an operating basis as a steep fall in costs helped offset weak commodity prices.

Barrick Gold Corp gained 1.2 percent to C$24.52, while spot gold rose 0.5 percent on a weaker U.S. dollar and uncertainty about the outcome of a tight U.S. presidential race.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.0 percent. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish and Richard Chang)

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