February 28, 2019 / 3:16 PM / in 2 months

CANADA STOCKS-Financial shares drag down TSX

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index declined on Thursday, led by losses in the heavy-weight financial sector on the back of disappointing quarterly earnings from Toronto-Dominion Bank.

* Canada’s second-biggest lender fell 2.8 percent after reporting lower-than-expected rise in earnings, hurt by losses at its wholesale banking business.

* The heavy-weight financial group of stocks fell 0.73 percent, the most among the 4 major sectors trading lower.

* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell 1.2 percent after the country’s fifth biggest-lender reported a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly earnings.

* At 9:44 a.m. ET (14:44 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 29.38 points, or 0.18 percent, at 16,044.92.

* Also weighing on sentiment was an abrupt end to the U.S.-North Korean summit in Vietnam as U.S. President Donald Trump walked away from a nuclear deal with Kim Jong Un because of unacceptable demands from the North Korean leader to lift U.S.-led sanctions.

* In a bright spot, Canopy Growth gained 2.8 percent after the company roped in lifestyle guru Martha Stewart as an adviser to help develop a line of new pot-based products for both humans and animals.

* Air Canada rose 1.6 percent after increasing its long-term targets for profit margins and free cash flow.

* On the TSX, 101 issues were higher, while 120 issues declined for a 1.19-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 20.53 million shares.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was AltaGas Ltd , which jumped 4.4 percent, after its quarterly results beat analysts’ estimates.

** This was followed by Tricon Capital Group Inc, which rose 4 percent after fourth-quarter results.

* Cascades Inc fell 8.5 percent, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Maple Leaf Food , down 3.8 percent. Both companies reported quarterly profit that missed expectations

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Encana Corp , Aurora Cannabis and Nemaska Lithium.

* The TSX posted five new 52-week highs and two new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 16 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total traded volume touching 32.61 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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