* TSX falls 143.18 points to 11,636.55
* Earlier touched highest level since Sept. 2008
* Gold and oil issues headline retreat (Adds details, comments and official numbers)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Thursday, snapping a two-session advance, as a decline in commodity prices erased an earlier rally that had lifted the resource-heavy index to its highest level in over 14 months.
Shares of EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), which headlined the decline, ended down 4.4 percent at C$28.81. The slide came a day after EnCana completed its split into separate gas and oil businesses. [ID:nN30251304]
Talisman Energy TLM.TO shares fell 2.7 percent to C$18.42, while Nexen Inc NXY.TO dropped 1.9 percent to C$25.26. The drag in energy shares came as the price of oil slipped on weak U.S. service sector data and rising U.S. crude inventories. [O/R]
Also contributing to the broader decline was a slide by gold miners, which fell as the price gold backed away from a record high [ID:nGEE5B20XL].
“We’ve had a nice little run here,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. “I can’t pinpoint why, but the markets are becoming increasingly thin right now.”
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 143.18 points, or 1.22 percent, at 11,636.55. It is now up over 55 percent from the five-year low it had tumbled to in March.
The lower close marked a sharp turnaround from early in the session when initial strength in financials after some upbeat bank earnings helped power the TSX to a gain of 36 points and its highest level since September 2008.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) reported better than expected profits and offered signs that bad loans may have peaked. Bank executives said they were heading into 2010 primed for growth. [ID:nN0375031]
Shares of TD Bank fell 2.5 percent to C$66.08, while CIBC bucked the downtrend and rose 2.2 percent to C$70.00.
$1=$1.06 Canadian Editing by Rob Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org ; +1 416 941-8094; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com