CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips as slower housing market weighs on financials

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

* TSX closes down 9.45 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,165.36

* Six of TSX’s 10 main sector groups end lower

* Canadian home sales see largest drop since 2010

* Materials group rises 1.5 percent

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, July 17 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index edged
lower on Monday as data showing a slowdown in the housing market
weighed on the outlook for financials, offsetting gains for the
materials group as metal prices climbed.

The resale of Canadian homes fell 6.7 percent in June from
May, the largest monthly drop since 2010 and the third straight
monthly decline.

“A slowdown in real estate is somewhat of a negative for the
banks,” said Lorne Steinberg, president, Lorne Steinberg Wealth
Management Inc. “Mortgage origination, consumer loans – all of
that has been a huge boost for the Canadian banking sector.”

Toronto-Dominion Bank fell 0.5 percent to C$64.86,
while commercial real estate services company Colliers
International Group Inc slumped 7.7 percent to
C$70.29. The overall financial services group ended down 0.3
percent.

Investors worry that higher interest rates will add to a
slowdown in Canada’s real estate market and weigh on the
country’s economy.

“A stronger Canadian dollar as well is somewhat of a
negative for the Canadian economy and for Canadian exporters,”
Steinberg added.

The loonie touched its strongest level in 14 months at
C$1.2627 per U.S. dollar after the Bank of Canada last week
raised interest rates for the first time in seven years.

Industrials fell 0.7 percent, including losses for railroad
stocks. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, which will release
earnings on Wednesday, fell 1.2 percent to C$208.30.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 9.45 points, or 0.06 percent, at
15,165.36.

Six of the index’s 10 main industry groups ended lower.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.5 percent. First
Quantum Minerals Ltd jumped 8.8 percent to C$13.69 and
Lundin Mining Corp advanced 4.9 percent to C$8.29.

Both miners produce copper, nickel and zinc. Copper prices
reached their highest level since early March on the back of
better-than-expected economic data from top consumer China,
while nickel and zinc also gained.

Gold miners also rose as the price of the precious metal
climbed.

Dominion Diamond Corp rose 5.6 percent to C$17.85,
after the world’s third-largest diamond producer by market value
agreed to a sweetened takeover offer from The Washington
Companies, valuing it at $1.2 billion.

NexGen Energy Ltd rose 7.4 percent to C$3.18. But
the energy group was little changed overall as oil prices fell.

U.S. crude futures settled 52 cents lower at $46.02 a
barrel.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp, editing by G Crosse)

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