* TSX down 143.07 points, or 0.91 percent, to 15,506.47
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups move lower
* Financials off 1.7 pct, energy group down 1.6 pct
(Updates with closing share prices)
TORONTO, April 27 Canada's benchmark stock index
closed nearly 1 percent lower on Thursday, pulled lower by
heavyweight banking stocks after an alternative lender's funding
troubles raised concerns about the health of the housing market.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
fell 143.07 points, or 0.91 percent, to end at
15,506.47. Seven of the index's 10 main industry groups were in
Home Capital Group Inc, hit by a series of adverse
news including a regulatory probe into its disclosures, said it
had hired bankers to help it secure additional funding and size
up its strategic options.
"It's a crisis affecting a company which happens to be
operating in the mortgage market," said Fred Demers, chief macro
strategist at TD Securities, who did not think there was a risk
of contagion such as the one experienced during the 2008-09
Home Capital shares popped 33.9 percent to C$8.02,
offsetting some of Wednesday's 60-percent plunge, but the
broader financial group - which accounts for a third of the
index's weight - fell nearly 1.7 percent and had at one point
touched four-month lows.
Seven of the index's 10 biggest drags were financial stocks.
Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest bank, shed
1.9 percent to C$93.66, while Toronto-Dominion Bank lost
2.4 percent to C$64.17 and Bank of Nova Scotia stumbled
2.7 percent to C$75.31.
Home Capital's funding woes come at a time when federal and
provincial governments are trying to cool Toronto's red-hot
property market through a series of measures. The runaway prices
have attracted comments from banks CEOs that the market could
correct, which in turn could hurt lender's earnings growth.
Canada's federal housing agency said on Wednesday that
Toronto still faces price acceleration, overvaluation and
The energy group - which account for another 20 percent of
the index's weight - retreated 1.5 percent as oil prices fell on
news that two key oilfields in Libya had restarted, pumping
crude for export into an already bloated market.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd dropped 3.6 percent
to C$43.43 and Encana Corp also fell 1.7 percent to
Canada's largest oil and gas company, Suncor Energy Inc
eked out a 0.3 percent gain to finish at C$41.75 after
reporting better-than-expected profit.
Fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan
added 2.3 percent to finish at C$23.17 after beating profit
expectations and upping its outlook.
Its rival and planned merger partner Agrium
advanced 2.3 percent to C$129.25.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Solarina Ho; editing by Chizu
Nomiyama, Lisa Shumaker)