TSX dips as energy stocks retreat ahead of OPEC meeting

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Monday as energy stocks retreated ahead of a meeting of oil producers later in the week, while mining stocks and financials also fell in a low-volume session with U.S. markets closed for Memorial Day.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The index has rallied 22 percent from an almost 3-1/2-year low in January. Last week it touched a nine-month high of 14,143.50.

“Right now the market is very stretched,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners.

It is vulnerable to profit-taking going into the summer months, with U.S. interest rate hikes one possible catalyst for a pull-back, he added.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested on Friday that an interest rate hike in the United States may be around the corner.

Enbridge Inc ENB.TO fell 1.2 percent to C$52.16, while the overall energy group was down 0.5 percent.

Some investors may have sold in advance of a meeting on Thursday of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said Zohny.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 27 cents to $49.60 a barrel, although uncertainty ahead of the OPEC meeting was expected to cap gains. [O/R]

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals mining and fertilizer companies, lost 0.4 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO fell 0.6 percent to C$21.55 as gold hit a 3-1/2-month low.

Financials stocks also declined, dipping 0.2 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 18.56 points, or 0.13 percent, at 14,086.67. Just four of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.

Suncor Energy Inc's SU.TO facilities north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, are expected to restart partially by the end of the week, the company said on Sunday, the latest sign that Canadian oil sands producers are coming back online after a massive wildfire. Its shares rose 0.3 percent to C$35.99.

Among other stocks that advanced, communications company Bce Inc BCE.TO rose 0.4 percent to C$60.73, while convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc ATDb.TO climbed 0.7 percent to C$58.28.

The consumer staples group rose 0.4 percent, while the telecommunications sector was up 0.2 percent.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dan Grebler