TSX falls, pressured by financial and energy stocks

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Monday as banking, energy and consumer stocks lost ground, offsetting gains among gold miners as global growth concerns mounted.

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

Declining crude oil prices for a third straight day weighed on Canada’s resource-linked market, while worries over global growth and the health of the financial sector hurt sentiment after triggering a sell-off in European stocks.

Deterioration in earnings and revenue has become “more broad based,” said Manash Goswami, a portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc, spreading from resource stocks to financials and technology.

Financial sector stocks tumbled 2 percent, including a 2.6 percent drop in Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO to C$69.29.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc BAMa.TO fell nearly 4 percent to C$38.50. Its bid for Australian freight giant Asciano Ltd AIO.AX has been trumped by local rival Qube Holdings Ltd QUB.AX.

The energy group retreated 2.4 percent, including a 3.3 percent decline in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO to C$29.22.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $29.69 a barrel, down 3.9 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO fell more than 7 percent to C$124.88, while Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc ATDb.TO dropped 6 percent to C$54.52.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 228.59 points, or 1.79 percent, at 12,535.40. Nine of the index's 10 main groups were lower.

Defensive sectors, such as utilities, telecommunications and consumer staples have become the focus for Goswami, who is trying to stay away from cyclical stocks.

“I think the trend for the next little while is going to be sideways to down,” he added.

Amaya Inc AYA.TO fell 2.7 percent to C$18.48. The operator of online gambling website PokerStars said that a special committee of its board has tapped Barclays to review an expected all-cash offer from its Chief Executive David Baazov.

But helping to cushion overall losses, the materials group rose 0.8 percent.

It included gains for gold stocks as the price of bullion rose to its highest level since June last year.

Goldcorp Inc G.TO advanced 7.3 percent to C$20.52, while Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO was up 2.5 percent at C$16.59.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Diane Craft