CANADA STOCKS-TSX slides as investors shun riskier assets, gold shines

* TSX down 76.41 points, or 0.51 percent, to 14,957.23

* All 10 of the index’s main groups fall

TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday, led lower by heavyweight bank shares, as investors worldwide fled equities to perceived safe-haven investments amid global geopolitical uncertainties.

Deadly attacks in Barcelona and U.S. policy uncertainty following the exit of U.S. executives from presidential business councils heightened the appeal of gold as well as German government and U.S. Treasuries versus stocks.

Canadian financial stocks were the five biggest contributors to the index’s decline.

Manulife Financial Corp fell 1.3 percent to C$24.77, while Bank of Montreal slipped 0.6 percent to C$91.2. The overall financials group declined 0.5 percent.

At 10:16 a.m. ET (1416 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 74.5 points, or 0.5 percent, to 14,959.14.

All 10 of the index’s key sectors were in the red.

Technology stocks retreated 0.9 percent with Absolute Software Corp slumping 5.1 percent to C$7.58 after it reported fourth-quarter results that missed expectations.

Canadian Natural Resources fell 1.2 percent to C$38.54, while the broader energy group retreated 0.5 percent.

Global oil prices edged higher but were still on track to close the week between 2 percent to 3 percent lower.

Bombardier Inc shares fell 1.9 percent to C$2.58 amid news that Swedish authorities are charging a Bombardier employee on suspicion of bribery.

The industrials sector fell 0.9 percent.

The materials group was down 0.2 percent, but losses were tempered by gold mining stocks, which benefited from safe-haven gold prices that were on track for a second consecutive weekly gain.

Barrick Gold was up 1.1 percent to C$21.60, while Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd rose 2.5 percent to C$14.81. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd climbed 1.5 percent to C$60.52.

Gold futures rose 0.7 percent to $1,294.8 an ounce.

Domestic data showed that Canada’s annual inflation rate ticked higher in July, suggesting price pressures are picking up after June’s subdued reading and clearing the way for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates in the fall.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 176 to 65, for a 2.71-to-1 ratio on the downside. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by W Simon)