TSX dragged lower by energy, financials; Dollarama surges

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, pressured by a retreat in energy and financial stocks as investors tracked Hurricane Irma and falling global bond yields.

The Toronto Stock Exchange sign is seen in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Enbridge Inc ENB.TO was the biggest driver of the index's decline, falling 1.3 percent to C$49.23, while Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO declined 1.6 percent to C$23.55.

The energy group retreated 0.6 percent. U.S. crude slipped on a bigger-than-expected crude stock build, as the restart of U.S. refiners after Hurricane Harvey was countered by the threat of Hurricane Irma.[O/R]

The financial services sector, which accounts for roughly a third of the index’s weight, slipped 0.6 percent, as Hurricane Irma weighed on insurance companies and bank stocks were pressured by a drop in global bond yields.

“People are worried about the yield curve pivoting,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. “They’re always worried about a flattening out and maybe even inverting. We don’t see it happening, but it’s a concern.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 35.3 points, or 0.23 percent, to 15,024.53.

Half of the index’s 10 main groups were in the red, with telecoms down 1.1 percent.

“The Canadian stock market is the only one of the big seven that is down for the year, so we’ve got some catch-up to do here in Canada,” Michael said.

Partially offsetting the losses were gains by the materials group. The resource-focused sector added 0.3 percent, as gold miners profited from bullion prices that touched a one-year-high following weak U.S. jobs data.

A 1.6 percent jump in consumer discretionary stocks was led by Dollarama Inc DOL.TO. Dollarama shares rose 10.6 percent to C$134.72 after the company posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit.

Hudson's Bay Co HBC.TO climbed 6.7 percent to C$13.01, extending Wednesday's gains after an activist shareholder said it believed that a highly qualified third-party buyer had "serious interest" in acquiring the department store operator's European chain.

The index posted nine new 52-week highs and two new lows.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Leslie Adler