* TSX closes down 78.87 points, or 0.50 percent, at
* Five of the TSX's 10 main groups end lower
(Updates to close, adds analyst commentary)
By Leah Schnurr
TORONTO, March 30 Canada's main stock index
pulled back from a one-month high on Thursday as deal-related
news pressured shares of Cenovus Energy Inc and
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Cenovus shares had their biggest one-day percentage fall
ever, down 13.75 percent at C$15.05, after the Canadian company
agreed to buy oil sands and natural gas assets from
ConocoPhillips for C$17.7 billion.
The deal weighed on the overall energy group, which was down
2.6 percent even as oil prices rose. U.S. crude settled
up 1.7 percent at $50.35 a barrel.
The drop in Cenovus' stock showed investors are viewing the
deal as "highly dilutive to the shareholders and a company with
pretty much a pristine balance sheet is now leveraged to the
hilt and very, very, very dependent on higher oil prices to make
sure the deal actually works as planned," said Norman Levine,
managing director at Portfolio Management Corp.
"So the market is giving, in the short term, a very big
thumbs down on it," Levine said.
Shares of CIBC fell 2.9 percent to C$113.78 after it raised
its offer for PrivateBancorp Inc ahead of a June
deadline. CIBC said it offered about $4.9 billion in cash and
stock, up from the earlier $3.8 billion offer.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 78.87 points, or 0.50 percent, at
15,578.76 the day after the index posted its highest close in
more than a month at 15,657.63. Five of the index's 10 main
groups ended lower on Thursday.
Elsewhere in the financial sector, Toronto-Dominion Bank's
chief executive officer told shareholders at the bank's
annual meeting that it does not have a "widespread problem" with
its sales practices, responding to a report staffers were
pressured to meet targets.
Its shares rose 0.1 percent to C$66.22, while the overall
financials group ended less than 0.3 percent lower.
The modest loss for financials came as data showed that the
U.S. economy grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter than
previously estimated. Some of Canada's major banks have
operations in the United States.
Dollarama Inc's quarterly profit beat analysts'
estimates as the average amount customers spent at its stores
increased, sending the Canadian discount retailer's shares to a
record high during the session. Its stock finished up 11.2
percent at C$110.88.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith, additional reporting by Leah
Schnurr in Ottawa; editing by Diane Craft)