(Adds strategist quotes and details on First Quantum Minerals
and updates prices)
* TSX closes down 15.55 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,999.81
* Index posts its lowest close since Nov. 21
* Just three of the index's 10 main groups end lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Nov 29 Canada's main stock index fell
to a new one-week low on Tuesday as energy stocks slumped due to
major oil exporters' struggle to agree on terms of a planned
production cut, while Bank of Nova Scotia gained after
a solid earnings report.
U.S. crude prices settled $1.85 lower at $45.23 a
barrel, as Iran and Iraq resisted pressure from Saudi Arabia to
curtail their output, complicating the efforts of the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach a
global output-limiting deal when it meets on Wednesday.
The most influential weights on the index included Suncor
Energy Inc, which fell 2.2 percent to C$40.35, and
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, down 2.3 percent to
C$41.67. The energy group retreated 2.4 percent overall.
The pullback in energy stocks is a "buying opportunity,"
said Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at Manulife
"We have seen a real shift in mindset out of OPEC ... that
something needs to be done to support oil prices and if it (a
deal) is not done at this meeting then it will be done the next
time they get together."
Energy investors are also awaiting Canadian government
decisions on two major Enbridge Inc pipeline projects
that are expected on Tuesday. Shares in the company
fell 1.3 percent to C$56.69.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 15.55 points, or 0.1 percent, at
14,999.81, its lowest since Nov. 21.
Just three of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.
The financials group gained 0.6 percent, helped by Bank of
Nova Scotia gaining 1.6 percent to C$73.70 after Canada's
third-biggest lender reported a better-than-expected rise in
"The number one question on the banks continues to be how
well they manage through a housing slow down if we see one. I
think they are well prepared for it and that's showing up in the
results," Petursson said.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.7 percent.
Copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd declined
more than 7 percent to C$14.60 as industrial metal prices
tumbled on fears that a post-U.S. election rally had become
Copper prices declined 3.0 percent to $5,704.85 a
tonne and gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $1,187.2 an
Canada's current account deficit narrowed in the third
quarter after three consecutive quarterly increases as exports
saw the highest growth in over two years.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Paul Simao
and Chris Reese)