TSX dips as energy trims some recent gains

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Thursday as energy shares pared some recent gains, offsetting a rebound in the materials group as copper rallied.

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

In lighter than usual trading volumes, with U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 5.71 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,075.20.

Still, it touched its highest intraday level since June 2015 at 15,121.67.

“Momentum has been very strong since the (U.S.) election,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP.

“There has been a big rotation in the market, the last few weeks, more toward the cyclical side.”

One of the most influential movers was copper miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd, which advanced 4.3 percent to C$16.67.

Copper prices rose more than 2 percent, heading toward their 2016 peak as funds piled in on expectations of stronger demand and tighter supplies.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2 percent. The group had weighed heavily on the index on Wednesday, with particularly sharp losses among gold miners.

Barrick Gold Corp fell 0.4 percent to C$19.65. The company is reviewing the financial backing behind an approximately $1.3 billion bid for its stake in Australia’s Kalgoorlie mine by Minjar Gold, a unit of Shanghai-listed Shandong Tyan Home, two sources told Reuters.

Five of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower, with energy dipping 0.2 percent despite little change in the price of crude oil.

The sector will likely consolidate recent gains ahead of next week’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Zohny said.

TransAlta advanced 7.8 percent to C$6.26, while pipeline company Enbridge Inc slipped 0.8 percent to C$57.47.

Financials dipped 0.1 percent, with Manulife Financial Corp falling 0.8 percent to C$23.51.

The sector, which accounts for more than 30 percent of the index’s weight, has benefited since the election from higher bond yields.

The consumer staples group fell 0.6 percent, while the small healthcare sector notched a gain of 0.8 percent, helped by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc advancing 2.8 percent to C$23.50.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bill Rigby