TSX slips with financials, miners; Shaw shines

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index inched lower on Tuesday, weighed by slips among heavyweight financial stocks and losses for some base metal miners, while Shaw Communications Inc gained after deals to sell its data center business and buy wireless airwaves.

FILE PHOTO - A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

Shaw was the most influential gainer on the index, ending up 3.1 percent at C$29.42 after saying it would sell its ViaWest subsidiary for $1.675 billion, while the majority-owner of the company that sold Shaw the spectrum, Quebecor Inc, also gained 3.1 percent, to C$41.86.

The telecom group lost 0.5 percent, with BCE Inc down 0.7 percent at C$59.45, after the departing head of the country’s telecom and broadcast regulator said his as-yet unnamed replacement may have to intervene in wireless markets to stoke competition.

The financials group slipped 0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada down 0.4 percent to C$93.89 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce off 0.6 percent at C$106.16.

“They (Canadian banks) had a pretty good run late last week, with a flight to quality it seems a lot of the fast money came out of tech and got parked in the banks temporarily,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Eight Capital.

A bounce back in U.S. technology stocks after a sharp two-day decline helped several Wall Street indices close at record highs. [.N]

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 4.05 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,379.75.

Investors seem to be engaged in “under the surface sector rotation” at the moment, said Mike Archibald, associate portfolio manager at AGF Investments. “To me, it’s reflective that there is still a good amount of uncertainty by most market participants right now,” he said.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell 4 percent to C$11.43 and Hudbay Minerals Inc lost 4.9 percent to C$7.23, which Archibald ascribed to positioning ahead of Chinese economic data due out overnight.

Energy stocks ended 0.4 percent higher overall, with Encana Corp up 2.1 percent at C$12.84.

Sears Canada Inc sank 23.7 percent to 87 Canadian cents after the retailer flagged doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern and said it was exploring strategic options, including a sale of the company.

Interest rate cuts instituted in 2015 have largely done their job as the Canadian economy gathers momentum, the Bank of Canada’s head said on Tuesday, the second top official in as many days to set the stage for eventual rate hikes.

Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker