TSX falls as financial and resource shares decline

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday as the financials and materials groups lost ground, while some losses for energy shares were pared as oil turned higher.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

At 11:02 a.m. EDT, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 55.59 points, or 0.38 percent, to 14,700.51.

The decline follows the index’s biggest gain on Tuesday since September. It has rallied 13 percent this year, but has been in a holding pattern since posting a 16-month high at 14,963.60 in October.

Financials pared some recent gains for a second straight day as yields on longer-dated bonds fell. Toronto-Dominion Bank fell 0.5 percent to C$62.10, while the overall financials group was down 0.4 percent.

Higher bond yields improve the net interest margin for banks and reduce the value of insurance companies’ liabilities.

Yields had climbed since the U.S. election last week as investors bet that President-elect Donald Trump will pursue policies that will trigger higher inflation.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.6 percent, while industrials fell 0.4 percent as railroad stocks lost ground.

Energy shares pared some earlier losses as oil turned higher after initially giving back some of the previous day’s sharp gains.

U.S. crude prices were up 0.6 percent to $46.10 a barrel after comments by Russia’s energy minister supported optimism that major oil producers will agree to a production cut. [O/R]

Suncor Energy Inc fell 1.6 percent to C$40.68, while the overall energy group was down 0.4 percent.

Just three of the index’s 10 main groups rose, with the consumer staples group rising 2 percent.

Grocery and pharmacy retailer Loblaw Cos Ltd reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as expenses fell and discounting attracted more shoppers.

Its shares rose 3.9 percent to C$67.32.

The pace of Canadian manufacturing sales slowed in September, while volumes fell, data from Statistics Canada showed, suggesting a softer transition for overall economic growth heading into the final quarter of the year.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama