June 4, 2008 / 9:28 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Soft resources take Toronto stocks slightly lower

(Adds details, quotes)

* Index edges lower as resources drag

* Bombardier hits six-year high after profit rises

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, June 4 (Reuters) - Faltering resource issues pulled the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index slightly lower on Wednesday, as materials and energy companies were stung by weaker commodity prices.

With the majority of sectors pushing higher, the falling resource groups were largely responsible for the benchmark’s slide. The heavyweight energy sector, which has frequently dictated the market’s direction, followed the oil price to give up 1 percent.

Petro-Canada PCA.TO fell 74 Canadian cents, or 1.3 percent, to C$56.84, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was down 60 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, at C$66.00.

The materials sector, home to resource issues, also weighed on the TSX as it lost 1 percent. Fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO slipped 80 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, to C$212.50, while miner Teck Cominco TCKb.TO was off C$1.18, or 2.4 percent, at C$48.35.

“We’re getting a little bit coming off the energy sector, and I think that’s affecting all Canadian stocks,” said Douglas Davis, president of Davis-Rea.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 38.15 points, or 0.26 percent, at 14,690.46 with just three of its 10 main groups lower.

The telecoms group was the other sector in the negative, taking a 0.8 percent trim. Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO) slid 87 Canadian cents, or 2.1 percent, to C$41.64.

Crystallex International KRY.TO fell 4 Canadian cents, or 4.9 percent, to 77 Canadian cents, continuing its decline as the resignation of the miner’s chief executive underscored doubts surrounding the company ever developing its Las Cristinas gold deposit in Venezuela.

On the upside, shares of Bombardier (BBDb.TO) rose to a six-year high, closing up 74 Canadian cents, or 9.1 percent, at C$8.90 after it said its quarterly profit nearly tripled, while aircraft deliveries rose.

Levente Mady, a broker at MF Global Canada in Vancouver, said that while U.S. financials were hurt by persistent worries over added fallout from the credit squeeze, the Canadian banks were able to ignore it, edging up 0.2 percent.

“It seems like there’s a lot of bad news built into the market. Certainly the Canadian equity market is still fairly close to the all-time highs, which is not necessarily the case for a lot of other markets world-wide, especially in the States,” said Mady.

“It remains to be seen going forward how profitability will be affected, and until we see some softer numbers on the earnings reports, Canada seems to be in decent shape.”

Market volume was 379 million shares worth C$8.4 billion. Decliners outpaced advancers 865 to 705. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed down 2.06 points, or 0.23 percent, at 876.18.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial index .DJI closed down 12.37 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,390.48 amid concerns about more credit losses, while comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fueled inflation fears.

The Nasdaq composite index .IXIC rose 22.66 points, or 0.91 percent, to 2,503.14 as technology shares recovered. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson)

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