April 14, 2009 / 2:09 PM / in 9 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as energy shares stumble

* TSX down 37.98 points at 9,247.64

* Energy sector off 1.6 pct, leads way down (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was lower on Tuesday morning as the price of oil fell and sent energy shares tumbling, with much of the rest of the index following along.

Oil is a key Canadian export its price often dictates direction for the TSX index’s energy sector, which shed 1.6 percent in early action.

Shares of EnCana (ECA.TO), Canada’s biggest energy company, fell 2.6 percent to C$54.79, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) dropped 1.4 percent to C$54.53.

The lower start in Toronto came alongside a skid in U.S. equities, but did not spur much concern among market watchers. The TSX has rallied sharply since hitting a multi-year low in early March.

“Part of this is just profit-taking, especially in Toronto, because we’ve had a strong market for the past four or five weeks,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

“But the trend seems to be start lower and gradually work back up ... it seems to be a buy on dips mentality, which makes sense because people don’t want to charge in there because the market has gone up a lot.”

At 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 37.98 points, or 0.41 percent, at 9,247.64.

Eight of the TSX’s 10 sectors were down.

Helping to cushion the index’s slide was a 0.4 percent rise in the heavyweight financial sector after Goldman Sachs (GS.N) reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit late on Monday. [ID:nN13387020]

$1=$1.22 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway

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