TSX closes slightly lower as retail losses offset energy, mining gains

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed marginally lower on Thursday as resource-related gains on a rise in commodity prices were offset by declines in consumer stocks after weak retail sales data, and investors digested a raft of corporate earnings reports.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 15.84 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,508.17.

* CCL Industries ended the day with the biggest gains on the index, up 9.3 percent, after the label manufacturer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits.

* Mining-related companies SNC-Lavalin Group and Kirkland Lake Gold and energy companies Peyto Exploration & Development, Secure Energy Services were among the biggest gainers.

* SNC-Lavalin’s profit topped expectations and the company gave a strong forecast for 2018.

* Spot gold prices rose 0.55 percent to $1,330.89 an ounce, while silver advanced 0.7 percent to $16.608 an ounce. Base metals also rose, with copper futures up 0.6 percent at $7,162 a tonne.

* Oil futures joined the uptrend, with U.S. crude climbing 1.6 percent to $62.69 a barrel.

* The basic materials group on the TSX was the biggest gainer, rising 0.4 percent, followed by energy, with a 0.3 percent advance.

* Infrastructure services provider Stantec Inc was the biggest decliner on the index, sliding 11 percent after its fourth-quarter earnings missed estimates.

* Canada Goose and Gildan Activewear were among the biggest decliners on the index, falling 4.6 percent and 3 percent respectively.

* Canadian retail sales unexpectedly declined in December, putting fourth-quarter economic growth on track to be below the central bank’s forecast.

* Despite the gains in metal prices, gold producers IAMGOLD Corp and Alamos Gold were among the biggest decliners, retreating 8.4 percent and 7.1 percent respectively after reporting fourth-quarter losses.

* There were 114 advancing issues and 126 declining ones. Ten were flat.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr and Nichola Saminather; Editing by Paul Simao and Sandra Maler