TSX falls as lower oil weighs on energy stocks

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Monday as lower oil prices weighed on energy stocks, while most other sectors also lost ground as risk appetite declined.

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

The index has rallied nearly 20 percent since January but has been unable to climb back above the 14,000 threshold.

“Corporate earnings have to get better for this market to go to the next level” said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at HollisWealth.

The energy group fell 1.5 percent, pressured by lower oil prices. U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled more than $1 lower at $42.64 a barrel after data pointed to fresh U.S. crude builds.

Enbridge Inc ENB.TO fell 1.5 percent to C$53.05. Canadian regulators recommended the federal government approve the company's Line 3 pipeline replacement project, but imposed 89 project-specific conditions aimed at enhancing safety and environmental protection.

Shares of Precision Drilling Corp PD.TO fell 5.5 percent to C$5.67. The rig contractor posted a first-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by lower demand for rigs amid a prolonged slump in oil prices.

The lower oil price weighed on risk appetite, dragging other sectors lower, including financials as investors worried about the exposure of banks to energy loans, said Small.

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO fell 0.9 percent to C$55.67, while Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO was down 0.6 percent at C$64.93. The overall financials group declined 0.4 percent.

The industrials group fell 1.1 percent, including losses for railway stocks, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, fell 0.9 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 78.01 points, or 0.56 percent, at 13,795.99. Eight of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO turned lower to end down 1.6 percent at C$44.85. The company named Joseph Papa as its chief executive officer, the day after he resigned from the top spot at drugmaker Perrigo Co Plc PRGO.N.

In contrast, Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO rallied 5.3 percent to C$1.80. The company faces a pivotal week that may see a major deal announced with Delta Air Lines Inc DAL.N, but a federal aid package is unlikely to be approved in time for its annual meeting on Friday.

The consumer discretionary group was the only group to rise, ending up 0.5 percent. It included an 0.8 percent gain for Magna International Inc MG.TO to C$54.85.

The utilities group was unchanged.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Tom Brown and Jonathan Oatis