(Adds portfolio manager quotes, details on Suncor Energy and
gold stocks, updates prices)
* TSX closed down 7.22 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,873.98
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups ended lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, April 22 Canada's main stock index
edged lower on Friday, slightly reducing this week's gains as
gold stocks dragged, while higher oil prices supported energy
The index rose 1.7 percent over the course of the week and
has rallied 20 percent since hitting a nearly 3-1/2-year low in
It touched a nearly six-month high on Wednesday at
13,971.83, just short of the 14,000 psychological threshold.
"It remains to be seen if the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)
has the momentum to punch through that level (14,000) on the
upside," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of
research at Global Securities.
The TSX's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 7.22
points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,873.98. Seven of the index's 10
main groups ended lower.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.8 percent.
It included a 3.2 percent drop in Goldcorp Inc to
C$21.65, while Barrick Gold Corp fell 1.8 percent to
The consumer, technology and telecom groups all fell.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc was down 2.4 percent
at C$54.56, while CGI Group Inc declined 1.8 percent
to C$60.51 and BCE Inc fell 0.5 percent to C$58.48.
We have been seeing some rotation out of the names that have
done well as investors get into those sectors, such as energy,
that have been lagging, said Picardo.
The energy group climbed 1.4 percent. It included a 3.1
percent gain for Cenovus Energy Inc to C$19.24, while
Suncor Energy Inc was up 0.7 percent at C$36.30.
U.S. crude prices settled at $43.73 a barrel, up 1.27
percent, as market sentiment turned more upbeat amid signs a
persistent global supply glut may be easing.
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
rose 7.3 percent to C$45.57. The drugmaker is seeking to appoint
Joseph Papa, Perrigo Co Plc's boss, as its new chief
executive officer, a source familiar with the matter said.
Canadian retail sales rose unexpectedly in February, the
second consecutive monthly increase, and brightened the outlook
for an economy that is on track to rack up strong growth in the
However, improvement in the economy has been factored into
the market after such a strong rally since January, said
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Sandra