October 13, 2009 / 3:12 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Banks lead TSX lower, oil sole sector higher

 * TSX down 0.97 percent at 11,325.62
 * Banks and insurers pull index down
 * Oil and gas only sector to rise
 * U.S. earnings in view  (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Tuesday morning, led lower by Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and other banks as they tracked weakness in U.S. financial issues.
 Financials, which make up about a third of the index’s weighting, fell more than 1 percent, under pressure after prominent U.S. banking analyst Meredith Whitney downgraded her rating on Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) to “neutral” from “buy”.
 Royal, Canada’s biggest bank, topped all decliners, falling 1.6 percent to C$55.06, followed by Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), down 1.6 percent at C$46.52. Insurer Manulife (MFC.TO) lost 2 percent to C$22.09. Six big financial companies were among the top 10 notable decliners.
 “Canadian financials are following the U.S. lead even though there is a pretty big disconnect between the banks in Canada and the banks in the U.S., but they still will follow to some degree,” Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
 At 10:42 a.m. (1442 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 111.30 points, or 0.97 percent, at 11,325.62. Nine of its 10 sectors were lower.
 The oil and gas sector was the lone index group to rise, helped by a fourth straight session of higher oil prices, which took crude towards $74 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) led all heavyweight advancers, up 1.1 percent at C$73.75.
 Concern about a heavy slate of upcoming U.S. earnings reports also persuaded some investors to pocket gains after the index’s 4.4 percent gain last week.
 U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as Johnson & Johnson’s third-quarter sales figures disappointed investors.
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)  (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)                                      

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