* TSX down 26.08 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,642.99
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups fall
(Adds details, analyst quotes, updates to close)
TORONTO/OTTAWA, April 5 Canada's main stock
index edged lower on Wednesday, retreating from a nearly
six-week high as financial shares declined and the energy sector
gave up an earlier advance, although overall losses were
tempered by gains in consumer-related stocks.
Banks were among the biggest drags on the index, including
Toronto-Dominion Bank, which fell 0.6 percent to
C$66.85, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce lost
0.9 percent to C$114.82.
The late-day decline for the TSX was also driven by the
heavyweight energy sector as oil prices came off
one-month highs after a surprise rise in U.S. crude inventories.
Although U.S. crude oil futures settled up 12 cents
at $51.15 a barrel, the commodity was down 16 cents at $50.87 in
extended trading. Shares of Encana Corp were down 2.1
percent at C$15.65, while the TSX energy group was
The Canadian market pulled back after hitting a record high
in February but the index has climbed in recent weeks and is now
just under 2 percent away from the record close.
The TSX has room to run heading into corporate earnings
season and could rise to around 16,500 by the end of the year,
said Bryden Teich, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment
"What happened a year and a half ago as commodities
collapsed, the overall earnings level on the TSX was really,
really hit," said Teich.
"You now have a recovering and strengthening Canadian
economy, and then you also have corporate earnings recovering
and poised to have a really strong year."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended down 26.08 points, or 0.17 percent, at
15,642.99. Earlier in the day, the index touched a session high
of 15,758.39, its highest intraday since Feb. 23.
Just three of the index's 10 main groups ended higher,
including a 0.1 percent gain for consumer discretionary stocks
, helped by Hudson's Bay Co.
The department store retailer said it was aggressively
working on fundamental changes in the business the day after it
reported a quarterly loss and its shares rose 7.7 percent to
Elsewhere in the sector, Dollarama advanced 1.7
percent to C$113.87.
China's Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd is in
advanced talks to buy a 50 percent stake in Barrick Gold Corp's
Veladero gold mine in Argentina, in a deal that could
fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the process
Barrick's shares were down 0.3 percent at C$26.01.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Leah Schnurr in
Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish)