* TSX down 28.97 points, or 0.21 percent, at 14,030.21
* Eight of the index’s 10 groups retreat
* Agnico Eagle, Kinross hit after earnings, Barrick up
* Sun Life Financial drops on earnings miss (Updates with details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was moderately lower on Thursday morning, hobbled by easing commodity prices and some earnings disappointments after rallying to a 31-month high the day before.
Teck Resources TCKb.TO was the lead decliner, falling 3.58 percent to C$55.45 as copper prices fell from record highs to a three-week low with inflation worries and demand-crimping prices cooling sentiment. [MET/L]
Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) fell 4.26 percent to C$72.18 and Kinross Gold (K.TO) dropped 2.63 percent to C$16.32 after both companies reported lower than expected quarterly earnings late on Wednesday. [ID:nN16257028]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, was the lead gainer, rising 1.33 percent to C$49.64. [ID:nN17277324]
The index’s materials group, home to miners, was down 0.93 percent.
At 10:29 a.m. (1529 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 28.97 points, or 0.21 percent, at 14,030.21. The retreat followed a 2 percent gain over the first three days of the week, during which the index hit its highest level since early July 2008 and broke through the 14,000 level.
“We’ve had a very robust month so far,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.
“The economic numbers we’re seeing are pointing in the right direction for a change. That obviously has implications for commodity prices, energy prices. Basically the tone toward Canadian-oriented equities is firming.”
Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were lower on Thursday morning. Consumer staples and industrial stocks were the lone gainers.
The heavyweight energy and financial sectors were down 0.12 percent and 0.01 percent respectively.
Financials were weighed down by a 4.22 percent drop in Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) to C$32.48. Canada’s No. 3 insurer reported earnings that missed analysts’ expectations after the market close on Wednesday. [ID:nN17115214] [ID:nN16243387]
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)