July 18, 2017 / 9:13 PM / 5 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges lower as financials, industrials retreat

(Adds portfolio manager quotes and details throughout; updates prices)

* TSX ends down 15.79 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,149.57

* Index touches its lowest intraday in one week at 15,086.30

* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups end lower

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index edged lower on Tuesday as financials and industrials led declines, but the TSX climbed off its lows for the session as higher oil prices boosted energy shares.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 15.79 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,149.57. It touched its lowest intraday since July 11 at 15,086.30.

The collapse in the U.S. Senate of a key healthcare bill was a headwind.

“It puts the fiscal policy agenda in jeopardy,” said Ben Jang, portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth Management. “The market isn’t really pricing in any potential economic growth from Trump policy.”

Canada sends most of its exports to the United States and could benefit from U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Some of Canada’s biggest banks were among the most influential losers on the index. Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.5 percent to C$94.68, while the overall financials group slipped 0.2 percent.

The Bank of Canada last week raised interest rates for the first time in seven years. Investors worry that higher interest rates will add to a slowdown in Canada’s real estate market and weigh on the country’s economy.

The impact will be broad-based because Canadians will spend less as the housing market slows, Jang said.

The rise in rates has helped push the Canadian dollar to a 14-month high, which could hamper exporters.

Industrials fell 0.4 percent, with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd down nearly 1 percent at C$206.29. Shares of the railroad company, which will report earnings on Wednesday, have fallen more than 2 percent since the start of the week.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent, retreating after solid gains the day before.

Just three of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher. Energy rose 0.4 percent, boosted by higher oil prices.

U.S. crude oil prices settled 0.8 percent higher at $46.40 a barrel as Saudi exports fell and solid demand soaked up some of what is seen as an oversupplied market.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.2 percent to C$37.76, while Suncor Energy Inc gained 0.5 percent to C$37.57.

Lending to Canadian small businesses picked up in May on stronger activity in the agriculture and consumer sectors, data showed, suggesting companies were becoming more willing to invest two years after a slump in oil prices hit the economy. (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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