December 9, 2009 / 4:56 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower as financial shares weigh

 * TSX down 0.24 percent at 11,341.33
 * Bank shares down, commodities rise
 * Laurentian Bank reports higher profit, shares up  (Adds details, comments)
 By Irene Kuan
 TORONTO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was lower on Wednesday as shares of Royal Bank of Canada and other banks dropped on yearend profit-taking, more than offsetting the boost the index got from stronger commodity prices.
 Shares of the country’s No. 1 bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), fell 1.61 percent to C$54.34, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was down 1.68 percent at C$64.84.
 Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), which reported earnings on Tuesday that analysts felt did not build on strong results from rival banks last week, was down 1.39 percent at C$46.95.
 “There’s some profit-taking in the financial sector because it’s acted well the past few days,” said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.
 “I don’t think investors want to risk any of the gains they’ve made this year, and if anything, they may be trimming some positions to get ready for next year.”
 Shares of regional lender Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.TO) were up 0.74 percent to C$42.41, however, after it reported a higher quarterly profit and increased its dividend, making it the first Canadian bank to raise its payout since the financial crisis hit. [ID:nN08197421]
 At 11:30 a.m. (1630 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 27.60 points, or 0.24 percent, at 11,341.33.
 Commodity prices rallied on Wednesday after several days of losses as the U.S. dollar weakened. Oil rose more than $1 toward $74 a barrel, while gold was up nearly 1 percent, recovering from three-week lows it hit in the previous session. [O/R][GOL/]
 Shares of world No. 1 gold miner Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) were up 0.95 percent at C$43.51, while rival Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 1.68 percent to C$42.93.
 Natural gas producer EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), which said on Wednesday it would renew its stock buyback program, saw its shares rise 0.74 percent to C$29.77. [ID:nN09155500]  ($1=$1.06 Canadian)  (Reporting by Irene Kuan; editing by Peter Galloway)                                      

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