* TSX down 67.23 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,995.65
* Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
* Suncor, Canadian Natural lead market lower
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday, pulled down by a drop in oil and gas shares after a report showing a jump in U.S. crude inventories weighed on oil prices.
The oil-price weakness followed four days of gains during which the commodity rebounded off multiyear lows on hopes that production might slow and help reduce a glut in crude supplies.
The Toronto stock market was also hit by a report showing the U.S. private sector added fewer jobs than expected in January, pushing the benchmark TSX index down after it advanced in each of the previous four sessions. It is up about 2.5 percent so far this year.
“As oil enters a new trading range, we think the opportunities in Canadian equities this year will potentially be in oil and gas stocks,” said Chhad Aul, portfolio manager at Sun Life Global Investments.
“We’re in the early days of turning positive on the energy sector,” he added. “We are not ready to call it a low, but we think there will be significant upside once that new trading range in the oil price is established.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 67.23 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,995.65. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Shares of energy producers gave back 4.1 percent. Suncor Energy Inc shed 5.2 percent to C$37.49, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 4.8 percent to C$37.68.
The gold-mining sector climbed 2.7 percent, helped by a rise in the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp advanced 3.3 percent to C$16.22, and Goldcorp Inc was up 2.5 percent at C$30.35.
$1=$1.26 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway