(Updates market moves to close, adds analyst comment, details on Kinder Morgan)
* TSX down 49.56 points, or 0.32 percent, to 15,372.35
* Half of the TSX’s 10 main groups fall
* Energy stocks fall 1.6 percent, financials off 0.3 percent
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, May 30 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Tuesday amid broad declines among oil and gas companies, hurt in part by a slide in crude oil prices and political tension in Western Canada over a Kinder Morgan pipeline project.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 49.56 points, or 0.32 percent, to 15,372.35. Five of the index’s 10 main groups ceded ground.
The index’s most influential movers included Canadian natural Resources, which retreated 1.7 percent to C$39.13, and Encana Corp which slumped 5.2 percent to C$13.53. The energy group, which makes up about a fifth of the index, fell 1.6 percent.
Shares in Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd closed at C$16.24 after debuting at C$16.06 on the TSX after raising C$1.75 billion ($1.3 billion) in an initial public offering (IP0) at C$17.00 each last week.
“A lot of the energy and utilities are down. I think a lot of that too is Kinder Morgan Canada came out today,” said Bryden Teich, portfolio manager with Avenue investment Management.
Kinder Morgan plans to more than double the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific province of British Columbia, where the two political parties opposing the project struck a deal to take power for four years.
“With the NDP and the Green Party lining up together ... I think there might be just a little bit of concern over that and whether or not this Kinder Morgan (project) can get done,” said Teich.
U.S. crude oil prices were down 0.6 percent to $49.51 a barrel on concerns that production cuts by the world’s big exporters may not be enough to mitigate a global glut in crude.
Financials slipped 0.3 percent as modest dips in most bank shares offset Bank of Nova Scotia’s 0.6 percent rise to C$76.60. Scotiabank reported second-quarter results that beat analyst expectations, helped in part by its international business.
Teich said bank results this quarter have generally been strong, giving the market more confidence and alleviating contagion concerns relating to Home Capital Group Inc.
Canadian National Railway Co, which reached a tentative deal on Monday with the Teamsters union that represented 3,000 conductors, averting a strike, rose 1.1 percent rise to C$104.52. The overall industrials sector climbed 0.4 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 172 to 74, for a 2.32-to-1 ratio on the downside.
The index posted six new 52-week highs and one new 52-week low. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by James Dalgleish)