TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index dipped on Wednesday, breaking a five-session stretch of gains, pressured by a sharp fall in shares of online retail platform Shopify Inc and losses in the energy sector as oil fell.
Shopify, which was the most influential mover on the index, slid 11.5 percent to C$128.95 after short-seller Citron Research commented negatively about the company.
The overall information technology group retreated 1.3 percent, while energy dropped 0.6 percent as a surprise jump in U.S. crude exports fanned worries about global oversupply.
U.S. crude prices settled 0.9 percent lower at $49.98 a barrel and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd also lost 0.9 percent, to end at C$41.87. [O/R]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 7.51 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,721.
“It’s a breather” after a very strong run, said Ian Nakamoto, equity specialist at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, a division of Raymond James.
The index has rallied more than 5 percent since August, moving within range of its February record peak at 15,943.09.
“I expect to take that out by the end of the year,” Nakamoto said. “The stars are all lining up for Canada.”
Solid growth in many major countries is boosting the outlook for commodity-linked shares and investors are embracing high dividend paying stocks, Nakamoto added.
The resources group accounts for 30 percent of the TSX’s weight, while the shares of financials, which tend to pay high dividends, account for nearly 35 percent.
Financials ended near flat on Wednesday. But the materials sector, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.6 percent as gold prices rose.
Franco Nevada Corp climbed 1.1 percent to C$98.34.
Just four of the index’s 10 main sector groups ended lower. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 137 to 105, for a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the upside.
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho, editing by G Crosse
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