* TSX down 38.83 points, or 0.25 percent, at 15,416.21
* Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
* Mining stocks weaken on volatile commodity prices
By John Tilak
TORONTO, July 28 Canada's main stock index fell
on Monday as weakness in the price of oil dragged on shares of
energy producers such as Suncor Energy Inc and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd.
While signs of increasing supply and sluggish demand played
the biggest role in pushing crude oil prices lower, investors
also kept an eye on the volatile situation in the Middle East.
With rising international pressure for a long-lasting
ceasefire, Israel toned down its offensive in the Gaza Strip and
Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave declined.
The Toronto equity market eased from its record high in the
previous session as investors braced for a fresh wave of
economic data later in the week.
The market is having a "deer-caught-in-the-headlights look,"
said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets
Canada. "There's so much stuff coming and it's almost as if
people don't want to continue committing when there's a lot of
"The cumulative effect of everything is starting to weigh a
little bit," he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
was down 38.83 points, or 0.25 percent, at 15,416.21.
It is still up about 13 percent this year.
Some market observers are cautioning that the recent run-up
in share prices might be inflating valuations.
"The price side has gone up a little bit faster than the
earnings side," Cieszynski said. "You've had a lot of companies
(that are) coming in with very strong earnings reports but
cautious on guidance. That makes it more difficult for people to
keep the party going."
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Among oil and gas companies, Suncor gave back 1.1 percent to
C$45.08 and Canadian Natural lost 1.3 percent to C$48.18. The
energy sector was down 1 percent.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, declined
0.3 percent, reflecting choppy action in the prices of gold and
silver. Barrick Gold Corp shed 0.9 percent to C$20.02,
and Goldcorp Inc slipped 0.5 percent to C$30.36.
Smartphone maker BlackBerry dropped 1.7 percent to
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)