TSX slips as Home Capital sentiment, resource stocks drag

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index retreated on Wednesday as lower commodity prices weighed on resource stocks, while negative sentiment around troubled Home Capital Group Inc HCG.TO spilled over into the broader financial sector.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 76.51 points, or 0.49 percent, at 15,543.14. All of the index's 10 biggest groups lost ground.

“More so than anything, it’s the Home Capital sentiment spillover that’s leading to some caution,” said Bryden Teich, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.

“That kind of sentiment could linger for a little bit, but fundamentals still look pretty good.”

The overall materials group, home to precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.3 percent, tracking falls in base metals, including copper and nickel. Copper prices CMCU3 fell 3.5 percent to $5,600.15 a tonne. [MET/L]

Teck Resources Ltd TECKb.TO fell 5.8 percent to C$26.64, while First Quantum Minerals Ltd FM.TO gave back 5.4 percent to C$12.03.

Kinross Gold Corp K.TO and Tahoe Resources Inc TAHO.N tempered some of the losses and were among the most positive influential movers, after the gold miners reported strong results late on Tuesday. Kinross jumped 10.7 percent to C$5.08, while Tahoe surged 15.1 percent to C$12.35.

The financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the entire index’s weight, dipped 0.2 percent.

Home Capital, which is delaying its earnings results, saw its shares fall 11.7 percent to C$6.84. Depositors have rushed to pull their money out of the non-bank lender after it faced regulatory allegations.

“It really shows how quickly liquidity or confidence in a financial institution can totally evaporate within a couple of weeks,” said Teich. “Once your liquidity is gone, kapoof, you’re done.”

Energy stocks also edged lower, slipping 0.2 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO down 1.0 percent to C$42.69.

Torstar Corp TSb.TO shares, which touched a record low of C$1.29 in intraday trade, tumbled 9.6 percent to finish at C$1.50 after the newspaper publisher reported a wider-than-expected loss.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 190 to 54, for a 3.52-to-1 ratio on the downside.

The index was posting 11 new 52-week highs and three new lows.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Cooney