CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges lower as financials, industrials retreat

(Adds portfolio manager quotes and details throughout; updates
prices)

* TSX ends down 15.79 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,149.57

* Index touches its lowest intraday in one week at 15,086.30

* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups end lower

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) – Canada’s benchmark stock index
edged lower on Tuesday as financials and industrials led
declines, but the TSX climbed off its lows for the session as
higher oil prices boosted energy shares.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 15.79 points, or 0.1 percent, at
15,149.57. It touched its lowest intraday since July 11 at
15,086.30.

The collapse in the U.S. Senate of a key healthcare bill was
a headwind.

“It puts the fiscal policy agenda in jeopardy,” said Ben
Jang, portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth Management. “The market
isn’t really pricing in any potential economic growth from Trump
policy.”

Canada sends most of its exports to the United States and
could benefit from U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Some of Canada’s biggest banks were among the most
influential losers on the index. Royal Bank of Canada
fell 0.5 percent to C$94.68, while the overall financials group
slipped 0.2 percent.

The Bank of Canada last week raised interest rates for the
first time in seven years. Investors worry that higher interest
rates will add to a slowdown in Canada’s real estate market and
weigh on the country’s economy.

The impact will be broad-based because Canadians will spend
less as the housing market slows, Jang said.

The rise in rates has helped push the Canadian dollar to a
14-month high, which could hamper exporters.

Industrials fell 0.4 percent, with Canadian Pacific Railway
Ltd down nearly 1 percent at C$206.29. Shares of the
railroad company, which will report earnings on Wednesday, have
fallen more than 2 percent since the start of the week.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent, retreating
after solid gains the day before.

Just three of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.
Energy rose 0.4 percent, boosted by higher oil prices.

U.S. crude oil prices settled 0.8 percent higher at
$46.40 a barrel as Saudi exports fell and solid demand soaked up
some of what is seen as an oversupplied market.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.2 percent to
C$37.76, while Suncor Energy Inc gained 0.5 percent to
C$37.57.

Lending to Canadian small businesses picked up in May on
stronger activity in the agriculture and consumer sectors, data
showed, suggesting companies were becoming more willing to
invest two years after a slump in oil prices hit the economy.
(Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Phil
Berlowitz)

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