TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Monday, as gold miners broadly weighed and Barrick Gold Corp lost nearly 5 percent after a company it majority owns, Acacia Mining, was hit with a bill for $190 billion in unpaid taxes in Tanzania.
Railway stocks, big banks and pipeline and other energy stocks also put pressure on the index, which unlike most major global stock indices is trading lower than where it ended 2016.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.4 percent, with the global gold sub-index down 2.3 percent even as bullion hit a one-month high.
“One of the reasons we don’t invest in gold stocks is because the commodity can do well or poorly, but the companies themselves all have things going on that can negate any gains,” said Norman Levine, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp.
Barrick ended down 4.9 percent at C$19.29 in the wake of the Tanzania tax bill for Acacia.
Levine said the stronger Canadian dollar, which breached 80 U.S. cents during the session, also weighed on Canadian natural resource stocks whose products are priced in the greenback.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 54.44 points, or 0.36 percent, at 15,128.69. Eight of its 10 main groups finished in the red.
The energy sector slipped 0.2 percent despite oil prices jumping after Saudi Arabia said it would cut its crude exports, with Enbridge Inc down 0.4 percent at C$52.17. [O/R]
Industrials fell 0.7 percent, with Canadian National Railway Co down 1.2 percent and rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd falling 1.8 percent to C$199.69.
Toronto Dominion Bank was among the biggest drags on the index, down 0.5 percent at C$65.02, while Royal Bank of Canada also slipped, off 0.2 percent at C$93.67.
The financials group, which accounts for about 30 percent of the index’s weighting, slipped 0.2 percent.
Consumer-related shares added to the general weakness on the Toronto market, including grocer Loblaw, which declined 0.8 percent to C$70.8, and pharmacy chain Alimentation Couche-Tard, which slipped 0.7 percent to C$59.83.
Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by W Simon and Diane Craft
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