(Adds portfolio manager quotes, background, details; updates
* TSX closes down 69.96 points, or 0.45 percent, at
* Index posts its lowest close since Feb. 6.
* Four of TSX's 10 main groups end lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Feb 27 Canada's main stock index posted
its lowest close in three weeks on Monday, falling for the
fourth straight session as gold stocks declined sharply, while
the heavyweight financial services group also lost ground.
The losing streak for the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index follows a record high last week at
15,943.09. The index has rallied 5.5 percent since the U.S.
presidential election in November, helped by prospects of U.S.
"I am getting a sense of fatigue in the market place after
that strong run up, particularly for a risk-on play like
Canada," said Candice Bangsund, vice president and portfolio
manager at Fiera Capital Corporation.
Three-quarters of the weight of the TSX is made up of the
financial, industrial, energy and materials groups, many of
whose shares are seen as sensitive to the economic outlook,
while some defensive sectors such as healthcare have a low
Investors are waiting for U.S. President Donald Trump to
outline plans for tax cuts, infrastructure spending, levies on
imports and foreign policy in a speech on Tuesday night.
"They are waiting for more details and it feels like they
are getting a bit more impatient," Bangsund said.
The TSX closed down 69.96 points, or 0.45 percent, at
15,463.51, its lowest close since Feb. 6.
The index fell sharply at the close due to trades related to
index rebalancing after the completion by Enbridge Inc
of its acquisition of Spectra Energy Corp.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 3.6 percent, with Barrick
Gold Corp falling 3.4 percent to C$24.73 and Agnico
Eagle Mines Ltd tumbling 6.6 percent to C$55.33.
Gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,251.7 an
Four of the index's 10 main groups ended lower, including a
0.4 percent drop for financials.
Bank of Nova Scotia fell 1.4 percent to C$79.25 and
Bank of Montreal declined 1.4 percent to C$98.58. Both
banks are due to report quarterly earnings on Tuesday.
The energy group climbed 0.4 percent, with Enbridge ending
up nearly 4 percent at C$56.35, while oil prices
ended little changed as the prospect for U.S. crude production
to continue growing offset reports of high compliance with the
OPEC production cut agreement.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc advanced
3.5 percent to C$21.94 after the company said it would expand by
40 percent the sales force for its Salix gastrointestinal unit.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick
Zieminski and James Dalgleish)