TSX posts eight-week low, pares losses as trade fears recede

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index pared earlier losses on Wednesday as investors grew less worried about trade tensions, but the TSX still posted its lowest close in nearly eight weeks as shares of financial and materials companies declined.

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 16.39 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,164.37, its lowest close since Feb. 9.

* The index had dipped below the 15,000 threshold earlier in the session.

* The recovery from session lows came as Wall Street’s three major indexes staged a comeback to close around 1 percent higher. Investors turned their focus to earnings and away from a trade conflict between the United States and China that wreaked havoc in earlier trading.

* Financials on the TSX fell 0.4 percent, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.8 percent.

* Crop nutrient producer Nutrien Ltd retreated 1.6 percent to C$57.70.

* Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups ended lower. The index posted two new 52-week highs and 15 new lows.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Element Fleet Management Corp, which rose 4.3 percent, while the largest decliner was Prometic Life Sciences, down 6.9 percent.

* Weed stocks were among the most active Canadian stocks by volume, including Aurora Cannabis, which fell 5.6 percent to $7.62.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Peter Cooney