(Adds portfolio manager comment, updates prices to close)
* TSX ends down 71.92 points, or 0.46 percent, at 15,490.49
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups fall
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, March 17 Canada's benchmark stock index
fell on Friday as financial stocks lost ground along with bond
yields and as natural resource companies pulled back despite an
uptick in commodity prices.
The heavyweight financials group lost 0.6 percent, with
insurance company Manulife Financial Corp down 1.5
percent at C$24.13 and Brookfield Asset Management Inc
off 0.8 percent at C$48.47.
The country's biggest banks fell between 0.4 and 1 percent.
The moves echoed similar slips on Wall Street as the effects
of the U.S. Federal Reserve's less aggressive stance on future
rate hikes from earlier in the week lingered.
"This week everything was waiting with bated breath for what
the Fed was going to say," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager
at ABC Funds. "The question was what sort of commentary that'd
give on the guidance, and they indicated it would be slow but
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended down 71.92 points, or 0.46 percent, at
15,490.49. The index slipped 0.1 over the week.
Seven of the index's 10 main groups ended in negative
territory, with decliners outnumbering gainers by 2.3 to 1.
"On balance, people are looking for liquidity in this
market, because there is still a lot of uncertainty."
The telecom and utilities groups, which tend to receive more
buying interest when investors are feeling defensive, both
Telecom company BCE Inc advanced 1.3 percent to
C$58.30 and rival Telus Corp added 0.5 percent to
The energy group fell 0.6 percent, with pipeline company
Enbridge Inc down 1.3 percent at C$54.96, while the
materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners
and fertilizer companies, fell 0.9 percent.
Dominion Diamond Corp jumped 12.2 percent to
C$13.21 after providing a 2018 outlook late on Thursday.
Oil prices were steady, finishing the week with modest
gains, but speculators sharply cut long positions during last
week's rout, on concerns that an OPEC production cut was failing
to reduce a global supply overhang.
Gold and copper prices rose.
Canada Goose added 6.8 percent to C$23.00 the day
after it jumped nearly 27 percent from its initial public
offering price of C$17 per share.
Canadian manufacturing sales unexpectedly rose in January
for the third month in a row, helped by strength in non-durable
goods, including petroleum and coal products, data from
Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Chizu