* TSX down 31.21 points, or 0.20 percent, at 15,588
* Eight of 10 main index sectors decline
* Talisman slips on news of struggle to sell itself
* National Bank jumps 2.4 percent after results
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Aug 27 Canada's main stock index eased
on Wednesday after hitting a record high in the previous session
as weakness in energy and materials shares weighed, offsetting a
gain in National Bank of Canada after the lender reported strong
A 3.9 percent drop in Talisman Energy Inc, after
news that the oil company had run into difficulties trying to
sell itself to Spanish energy company Repsol SA, was
also a drag.
National's shares jumped 2.4 percent as the
country's sixth-largest bank reported a stronger quarterly
profit, helped by a sharp jump in earnings at its wealth
management and financial markets arms.
The benchmark index has climbed about 14.5 percent this
year, so some investors are bracing for a potential correction.
"Our view is that the market is somewhat ahead of
fundamentals, so I would not be surprised to see a setback
somewhere along the way," said Michael Sprung, president of
Sprung Investment Management.
"Our cash positions have been building a little bit," he
added. "We don't think there is any need to run to the exits by
any means, but we are taking some profits in companies where we
have made substantial gains."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
was down 31.21 points, or 0.20 percent, at 15,588.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, shed 0.6
percent, with Barrick Gold Corp losing 0.8 percent to
C$19.75 and Agrium declining 1.2 percent to C$102.14.
Shares of energy producers slipped, with Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd dropping 0.3 percent at $47.04 and
Talisman falling to $11.24.
Talisman was the main drag on energy shares, while choppy
commodity prices weighed on the materials sector.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)