(Adds portfolio manager quotes, details; updates prices)
* TSX closes down 49.02 points, or 0.31 percent, at 15,781.20
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups end lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell to a 10-day low on Thursday as financial and industrial shares pared recent gains, while the materials group lost ground as base metal prices slumped.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 49.02 points, or 0.31 percent, at 15,781.20, its lowest close since Feb. 13.
Still, it has rallied 3.2 percent this year after climbing 17.5 percent in 2016 and on Tuesday reached an all-time high at 15,943.09.
“The market still has a good tone but sometimes the market will ‘back and fill’,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
“A lot of these stocks have run up tremendously over the last few months.”
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.1 percent, with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc falling more than 3 percent to C$23.69 and copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd tumbling 6.5 percent to C$14.23.
Copper prices declined 3.0 percent to $5,858.85 a tonne as investors worried that demand could slow from China should its government take steps that cool the country’s property market.
In contrast, gold futures rose 1.4 percent to $1,249.7 an ounce after Federal Reserve minutes on Wednesday dampened expectations for an interest rate hike in March.
Shares of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce rose 1 percent to C$119.40. The bank posted better-than-expected quarterly results and said it would be “disciplined” in assessing whether to raise its C$3.8 billion offer for Chicago-based PrivateBancorp.
“The results from CIBC were stellar and I think it sets the table for some excellent results for all the Canadian banks,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
The overall financials group slipped 0.3 percent as investor doubts about the economic impact of the Trump administration’s policies pressured bond yields lower.
Seven of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower, with industrials falling 1.2 percent as railroad stocks lost ground. Canadian National Railway Co ended down 1.5 percent at $93.37.
The energy group climbed 1.3 percent as oil prices rose.
U.S. crude prices settled 86 cents higher at $54.45 a barrel but gains were pared after U.S. government data showed a seventh straight build in crude stocks.
Crescent Point Energy Corp advanced 1.5 percent to C$15.73, even as the company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.
Supermarket chain Loblaw’s advanced 3.1 percent to C$71.05 after reporting a sharp jump in profit and higher-than-expected revenue. (Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)