(Adds portfolio manager quotes and details on background,
Enbridge and Bombardier and updates prices)
* TSX ends down 20.97 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,608.78
* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups end lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, March 7 Canada's main stock index
retreated on Tuesday as lower commodity prices weighed on mining
and energy shares, while the industrial and financial services
groups also lost ground.
Copper, gold and oil were among a string of commodities to
trade lower, pressured by rising copper inventories and U.S. oil
production levels as well as expectations for a U.S. interest
rate hike this month.
"It appears that both oil and copper have rolled over from a
technical analysis perspective, which has caused the TSX to
decline," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager
at Selective Asset Management Inc.
Copper prices declined 1.5 percent to $5,772.85 a
tonne, U.S. crude prices settled 6 cents lower at $53.14
a barrel and the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite
index closed down 20.97 points, or 0.13 percent, at
Still, the index has gained 2.1 percent this year after
climbing 17.5 percent in 2016. In February, it posted a record
high of 15,943.09.
"In spite of any near term grinding that's going on in the
stock market, we still think that we've got another two years
ahead of us (of rising stock prices)," McWhirter said.
"You only usually run into trouble when short-term interest
rates are higher than long-term interest rates. At the moment
that yield inversion hasn't happened."
Eight of the index's 10 main groups ended in negative
territory on Tuesday, with the materials group, which includes
precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, losing
First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell 3.8 percent to
C$14.26 and Lundin Mining Corp was down 4.4 percent at
Enbridge Inc's Line 2A pipeline in Alberta, which
was shut after a leak, will return to normal operations on
Friday, according to a company notice to shippers seen by
Its shares rose 1.6 percent to C$56.13, but the overall
energy group fell 0.5 percent.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc added 0.5 percent
to C$48.45 after saying it would take control of two SunEdison
units for $2.5 billion.
But the financials group dipped 0.1 percent, while
industrials retreated 0.5 percent, with Bombardier Inc
down 4.3 percent to C$2.23, its lowest close this year.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc fell 5.8
percent to C$15.70 after Deutsche Bank cut its target price on
Canada posted its third consecutive monthly trade surplus in
January in another signal that the economy is gaining momentum.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn and James Dalgleish)