TSX falls as gold miners, energy stocks weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday as gold miners retreated following their sharp rally since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and as a reversal in oil prices weighed on energy companies.

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

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 96.60 points, or 0.68 percent, at 14,134.46.

Its energy group fell 1.5 percent, reversing earlier gains, as oil prices fell to two-month lows after a U.S. weekly crude draw that disappointed bullish traders. [O/R]

“People are cautious, people are taking some profits and waiting to see what happens tomorrow with non-farm payrolls,” said Ian Makamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, referring to U.S. jobs data due on Friday.

Also weighing on the index was its hefty gold mining group, which pulled back following a steady rise since the Brexit vote sideswiped financial markets in late June.

The biggest drags on the market included two of the world's largest producers, with Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO down 3.2 percent to C$29.08 and Goldcorp Inc G.TO off 2.2 percent at C$25.50.

The S&P/TSX Global Gold sub-index .SPTTGD had rallied more than 20 percent since the vote, as investors rushing to buy bullion amid economic uncertainty pushed the metal to a two-year high. [GOL/]

“The gold commodity itself should be able to lift as time progresses,” said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC World Markets.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 2.3 percent.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups ended in negative territory.

Seven Generations Energy Ltd VII.TO advanced 7.1 percent to C$26.89 after agreeing to buy some Deep Basin oil and gas properties from Paramount Resources Ltd POU.TO.

Paramount advanced 8.5 percent to C$11.87.

The heavyweight financial sector slipped 0.2 percent.

Canada’s banking regulator said it was tightening oversight of mortgage lending, citing concerns about record household debt levels and a sharp jump in house prices in some markets.

The value of Canadian building permits issued in May dropped 1.9 percent from April, in part due to sharply weaker construction intentions in energy-producing Alberta, Statistics Canada said.

The pace of purchasing activity in Canada picked up in June as measures of employment and inventories jumped, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by James Dalgleish and Richard Chang