* TSX falls 15.27 points to 10,588.79
* Drop in energy shares tips balance to downside
* Bank shares keep TSX from steeper fall (Adds details)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, June 2 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended slightly lower on Tuesday as lower oil prices weighed on the energy sector, but an extended rally by bank shares after last week’s earnings helped to cushion the fall.
Energy companies crowded the list of shares that pushed the TSX index down the most as oil prices, boosted recently on hopes that the worst of the global economic crisis may be over, edged off a seven-month high. [ID:nSIN357259]
Shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO) ended down 5 percent at C$37.93, followed by Petro-Canada PCA.TO, whose shares fell 5 percent to C$47.38. The energy sector fell 2.3 percent.
The skid in energy shares spoiled any chance the TSX had of adding to the 234-point gain it recorded on Monday, when it reached its highest level since Oct. 14. Still, that did not seem to cause much concern among market experts.
“We had a bit of a standoff. But after yesterday’s action between Toronto and New York, to see this kind of action today in Toronto is just fine,” said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.
“It was a little bit of a consolidation day. If you start putting on 200 points every day, then you are building yourself up for a big down day. I’d rather see a slow ascent.”
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 15.27 points, or 0.14 percent, at 10,588.79. During the session it rallied as much as 30 points and fell as much as 89 points.
Despite the lower close, Latimer said he saw some good buying in a lot of names spread across the board.
Six of the TSX’s 10 sectors ended lower.
Shares of Canadian banks continued to attract investors after most of them reported quarterly results last week that were better than expected.
The upbeat sentiment helped boost shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) by 1.8 percent to C$57.62, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) rose 1.6 percent to C$39.85. The TSX’s financial sector as a whole rose 0.8 percent.
Another sector that kept the TSX from falling further was the materials group, home to gold-mining companies, which rose 1 percent in the latest session as gold prices rose closer to $1,000 an ounce. [ID:nN02226090]
$1=$1.08 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway