CANADA STOCKS-TSX dragged lower as financials lead declines; energy gains

* TSX down 58.81 points, or 0.39 percent, to 15,106.55

* Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups were down

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index fell
broadly on Tuesday as financials and materials led declines, but
energy companies bucked the trend on firmer oil prices.

The heavily weighted financials group slipped 0.5 percent.
Canada’s biggest banks were among the most influential losers on
the index, but individuals stocks were only down marginally.

The materials group, home to precious and base metals miners
as well as fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent as a retreat
in base metal prices weighed, offsetting the boost gold miners
received from higher bullion prices.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell 2.5 percent to
C$13.35, while Tech Resources Ltd declined 1.2
percent to C$24.25.

Zinc and other base metal prices were dragged lower by
profit-taking and producer selling after data showed China’s
property market had slowed.

Losses were somewhat tempered by higher gold prices, which
helped give a number of gold miners a modest lift. The price of
bullion rose on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar amid setbacks
for the U.S. Trump Administration and scaled back expectations
for another Federal Reserve rate hike this year.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd slipped 1.4 percent to
C$205.43. The overall industrials group fell 0.7 percent.

At 10:29 a.m. ET (1429 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index fell 58.81 points, or 0.39
percent, to 15,106.55.

Energy stocks, which climbed 0.4 percent, was the lone
gainer among the index’s 10 key sectors.

Crude oil prices rose on higher demand, with U.S. crude
prices up 0.6 percent to $46.29 a barrel.

Encana Corp rose 0.9 percent to C$11.97, while ARC
Resources Ltd gained 0.9 percent to C$17.32.

In economic data, lending to Canadian small businesses rose
to 124.2 in May from 121.9 in April on stronger activity in the
agriculture and consumer sectors, according to the PayNet Small
Business Lending Index. This suggested companies were becoming
more willing to invest two years after a slump in oil prices hit
the economy.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by
154 to 86, for a 1.79-to-1 ratio on the downside.
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Nick Zieminski)