February 19, 2015 / 3:38 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as oil prices weaken; SNC tumbles

* TSX down 53.80 points, or 0.35 percent, at 15,158.95

* Six of 10 main index sectors advance

* SNC-Lavalin dives 7.3 pct as fraud charges laid

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday as a buildup in U.S. crude inventories weighed on oil prices and shares of energy companies.

Further, shares of SNC-Lavalin Group tumbled 7.3 percent after the Canadian police laid corruption charges against the company and some of its units, in relation to their operations in Libya.

Oil prices have been easing since Wednesday, following a strong rebound from multi-year lows hit in January. Energy shares followed suit, slipping more than 2 percent on Thursday.

“It was a nice trading bounce, but there wasn’t really any change in the underlying fundamental drivers,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. “The price war among suppliers is still going on. Production continues to grow.”

“We’ve had a good relief rally, and we may continue to see crude oil bounce around in the near term. But the longer-term downtrend is not over yet,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 53.80 points, or 0.35 percent, at 15,158.95. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, declined 1 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank shed 1.1 percent to C$54.02, and Royal Bank of Canada gave back 1.1 percent to C$75.95.

The energy sector was hit by a 4 percent drop in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy Inc lost 1.6 percent to C$37.86, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd declined 1.4 percent to C$37.67. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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