CANADA STOCKS-Ukraine, Gaza conflicts help push TSX off record high

Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:57am EDT

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(Adds strategist's comment, details)
    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, July 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
retreated on Monday from its record high as a ratcheting-up of
fighting in Ukraine and the Israel-Gaza conflict gave investors
pause, with energy and mining stocks among the heaviest weights.
    Clashes broke out in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in
eastern Ukraine as investigators sought access to the bodies of
the victims of the Malaysian airliner shot down last week.
 
    Meanwhile, Israeli jets, tanks and artillery pounded Gaza
and Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel as the U.N.
Security Council's calls for a truce were ignored.
 
    "Certainly the headline risks emanating from the
geopolitical turmoil right now is dampening a little bit of
investor enthusiasm," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market
strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
    "You combine what's been going on in Ukraine for a while now
with the conflict in Iraq and the invasion in Gaza, all of them,
for an investor, can be put into the same pot and are somewhat
worrisome."
    Still, Fehr said he did not expect the hostilities to dent
the outlook for global growth, and he said the Toronto index
should rise further in a week light on economic data, especially
if bellwether North American stocks report positive earnings.  
    Cenovus Energy Inc slipped 1 percent to C$33.08,
while Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was down 0.6
percent at C$48.04.
    Encana Corp was off 0.8 percent at C$23.05.
Canada's largest natural gas producer may sell its Deep Panuke
project by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported last week.
 
    The energy and materials sectors, two of the TSX's largest,
have both made significant gains so far this year.     
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 21.35 points, or 0.14 percent, at 15,245.22
at midmorning. It hit a record high of 15,291.15 on Friday.
    ($1=$1.07 Canadian)

 (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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