* TSX down 15.78 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,280.08
* Five of the 10 main sectors finish lower
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished lower on Tuesday as heavily weighted resource and financial issues retreated, partly pressured by a cautious economic outlook from the Federal Reserve.
The materials group, home to mining firms, ended down 0.21 percent and led five of the index’s 10 main sectors lower.
Fertilizer producer, Agrium Inc AGU.TO was down 1.71 percent at C$81.52, while Potash Corp POT.TO was off 0.44 percent at 138.00.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) did not follow modestly stronger bullion prices and fell 1.45 percent to C$53.53. [GOL/]
“There’s a lot of seasonality kicking in ... a lot of the big institutions have pretty well shut down their books for 2010. A number of people just started their Christmas holidays, so the market is becoming extraordinarily thin,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
“It doesn’t take very much — a stray order can move a stock either way on the buy side or the sell side to a significant degree.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 15.78 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,280.08. The market was in positive territory most of the day, but the Federal Reserve’s cautious comments about a slow economic recovery sparked a late-session selloff. [ID:nTLAENE627]
The economy-linked financial issues ended the day down 0.15 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was the most influential decliner among the banks and gave back 0.91 percent to finish at C$52.34.
Energy stocks slid 0.18 percent, pulled lower by Encana Corp (ECA.TO), which fell 1.73 percent to C$28.38. Offsetting losses was a 1.31 percent gain by Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), which closed at C$38.72.
Crude oil prices were lower on Tuesday pressured by the Fed’s comments, but losses were limited by cold weather, which boosted heating fuel demand. [O/R]
Other decliners were consumer discretionary issues, which fell 0.37 percent, and telecoms, which slipped 0.08 percent.
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)