(Adds details throughout on stocks and sectors, updates prices)
* TSX closes down 92.15 points, or 0.58 percent, at
* Six of the TSX's 10 main groups end lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Feb 22 Canada's main stock index fell
the most in three weeks on Wednesday, pulling back from a record
high set the day before as lower commodity prices pressured
shares of energy and materials companies.
The energy group tumbled nearly 3 percent and the materials
group, which includes precious and base metals miners and
fertilizer companies, lost 1.2 percent as crude oil and metal
Investor expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate
hikes have pressured commodities priced in U.S. dollars, said
Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment
Partners of Richardson GMP.
"We probably expect that trend to continue ... That may
create a bit of a headwind for the energy and materials
sectors," he added.
Many Fed policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise
U.S. rates again "fairly soon" should jobs and inflation data
come in line with expectations, according to the minutes of the
central bank's last policy meeting released on Wednesday.
Gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,232 an ounce and
copper prices declined 0.3 percent to $6,039.85 a
U.S. crude prices settled 74 cents lower at $53.59 a
barrel on expectations of another surge in U.S. inventories.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell 4.2 percent to
C$38.16, while the overall energy group has slumped 8.7 percent
year to date as investors weigh prospects for a proposed U.S.
border adjustment tax which could hamper the competitiveness of
Canada's oil exports.
Six of the index's 10 main groups were lower, with
financials dipping 0.1 percent as investors braced for upcoming
earnings reports from the sector.
"It would be potentially hard for investors to be surprised
on the upside given current valuations are pricing in
significant good news already," Zohny said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 92.15 points, or 0.58 percent, at
15,830.22, its biggest drop since Jan. 30.
Still, the index is up 3.5 percent since the start of the
year after notching a 17.5 percent gain in 2016.
Waste Connections Inc advanced 3.1 percent to
C$114.25. It estimated first-quarter revenue to be about $1.075
Canadian retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.5 percent in
December as consumers bought fewer new cars and spent less
during the holiday shopping season, putting a damper on
expectations for economic growth at the year's end.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and