* TSX down 73.81 points, or 0.53 pct, at 13,766.76
* Eight of 10 main groups retreat (Adds details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished lower on Friday as oil prices fell on news that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down.
Oil and gas companies were firmly lower, with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) reversing early gains to lead the decline, down 2.14 percent at C$40.25. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 2.31 percent to C$43.20, while Nexen Inc NXY.TO dropped 3.05 percent to C$22.22.
Encana Corp (ECA.TO), which rallied more than 4 percent the previous session on news of a C$5.4 billion deal to sell a stake in a shale gas project to PetroChina, gave back 3.09 percent to end the week at C$31.03. [ID:nN1089226]
The index’s energy group as a whole ended down 1.06 percent. Crude prices fell to a 10-week low after the news from Egypt eased concerns that Middle East supplies could be disrupted by political unrest. [O/R] [ID:nLDE7192NZ]
“All of a sudden after the Egyptian problem seemed to be coming toward a conclusion ... the U.S. markets improved and we didn’t, and one of the reasons is strong oil prices suddenly turned to weak oil prices,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 73.81 points, or 0.53 percent, at 13,766.76. Eight of the index’s 10 main sectors were lower.
The index was little changed on the week, falling less than 0.2 percent.
“It’s a flat week for the Toronto market, but we’re up still up about 2.6 percent year-to-date,” Ketchen said. “We haven’t blown ourselves apart and I think there’s something better to come. You’re just going to have to wait a while to see it.”
As well as the energy sector, the materials group, home to mining companies, also pressured the index with a 0.89 percent retreat as gold prices fell.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was down 1.31 percent at C$46.82 while Kinross Gold (K.TO) gave back 1.88 percent to C$16.20. Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) fell 2.13 percent to C$71.05.
The price of bullion fell below $1,360 an ounce after Mubarak’s resignation dulled some of its safe-haven luster. [GOL/]
The index’s financial group eked out a 0.02 percent gain, reversing early losses, as sentiment lifted on Mubarak’s departure.
“There’s still the hope and the idea of dividend increases — could be that we might get one or two when (bank) first-quarter reports come out,” Ketchen said.
“I think you can be relatively be sure, by this time next year, we’ll have had most of (the banks) with dividend increases. We’ve waited two years and two years is long enough.”
Consumer staples was the healthiest group, rising 0.71 percent, helped by a 2.18 percent jump in Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO. Shoppers, which reported quarterly results that topped estimates on Thursday, ended at C$39.38.
Shares of telecoms company Telus (T.TO) fell 1.21 percent to C$47.31, even though it posted a 46 percent jump in quarterly profit on Friday. Stiff competition meant the company failed to sign up as many new customers as the market had expected. [ID:nSGE71A09K]
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)