TSX stumbles in year-end retreat, posts 2016 gains

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell broadly on the last trading day of the year on Friday, with volumes thin ahead of the New Year, but logged an overall robust annual gain.

Bay Street signs are seen in the heart of the financial district in Toronto, August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 17.4 percent for the year, adding 2,266.83 points in 2016. The index also touched its highest level since April 2015 in the previous session.

Some analysts predict more gains in 2017, particularly for resource and energy stocks.

On Friday, the TSX fell 134.53 points, or 0.87 percent, to end at 15,287.59. Among the index’s 10 main sectors, only healthcare notched a win.

“There’s very little volume. A lot of these stocks ran up into the Christmas season and sort of just drifted sideways to down,” said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management. “Most people aren’t around, so that’s just hampered any liquidity in the marketplace.”

Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO was the most influential decliner on the index, falling 1.6 percent to C$90.36. The overall industrial stocks fell 1.0 percent.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, saw the heftiest losses, falling 2.8 percent. Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO shares fell 2.9 percent to C$21.49.

The heavily weighted financials group slipped 0.6 percent, led by Toronto Dominion Bank's TD.TO 0.8 percent fall to C$66.22, and Royal Bank of Canada's RY.TO 0.6 percent dip to C$90.87.

Energy stocks fell 0.7 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO losing 0.9 percent to finish at C$43.90.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 187 to 56, for a 3.34-to-1 ratio on the downside.

The index was posting five new 52-week highs and no new lows.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Lisa Shumaker