CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips with financials; index loses 1.1 pct in June

(Adds portfolio manager quotes, background; updates prices)

* TSX ends down 31.23 points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,182.19

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

* Index falls 1.1 pct in June, down 0.9 pct on week

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, June 30 (Reuters) – Canada’s benchmark stock index
fell on Friday, ending lower for the second month in a row, as
heavyweight financial and energy shares lost ground ahead of a
holiday weekend.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 31.23 points, or 0.21 percent, at
15,182.19. For the week, the index lost 0.9 percent, while it
ended 1.1 percent lower for the month.

“A lot of people don’t like to be long over the weekend, let
alone long over four days,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager
at Caldwell Securities.

The Canadian stock market will be closed on Monday for
Canada Day, while some investors could stay away from their
desks on Tuesday as Wall Street closes for the U.S. Independence
Day holiday.

“We may be into the summer doldrums a little early,” Kinsey
said.

Some of the most influential movers on the index were its
biggest banks and insurers, with Royal Bank of Canada
down 0.6 percent at C$94.16 and Manulife Financial Corp
off 0.7 percent at C$24.31.

The financials group, which accounts for a third of the
index’s weight, lost 0.4 percent.

Exploration stage uranium company Nexgen Energy Ltd
advanced 8.7 percent to C$2.87 after saying it had secured $110
million in financing.

But Cameco Corp, a larger uranium producer, shed
3.8 percent to C$11.81. Bank of America analysts wrote in a
research note that oversupply in the uranium market would likely
weigh on Cameco’s stock for several years.

The broader energy group fell 0.5 percent even as oil
climbed for a seventh straight session, boosted by decrease in
the U.S. rig count and stronger demand data from China.

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 0.2 percent, while the
consumer discretionary sector rose 0.5 percent as Canada’s
economy showed signs of strength.

Restaurant Brands International Inc, which operates
the Tim Hortons and Burger King franchise restaurants, rose 0.9
percent to C$81.14 and global automotive supplier Magna
International Inc climbed 1.1 percent to C$60.07.

Canada’s economy grew for a sixth consecutive month in
April, while a central bank survey of business sentiment showed
firms were feeling more upbeat.

Top Bank of Canada officials’ recent assertions that a pair
of 2015 interest rate cuts did their job in cushioning the
economy from collapsing oil prices appear to be paving the way
for a tightening move as soon as next month.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp, editing by G Crosse)

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