CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles to a one-week low as oil falls, bank stocks drag

(Updates prices)

* TSX down 183.36 points, or 1.44 percent, to 12,580.08

* Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups are lower

TORONTO, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index tumbled to a one-week low on Wednesday as lower oil prices weighed on the resource-linked market, and weaker-than-expected bank earnings dragged down financial stocks.

The most influential movers on the index were bank stocks after Royal Bank of Canada posted quarterly earnings which fell short of analyst forecasts.

RBC, Canada’s second-largest lender by assets, was hurt by weakness in its insurance and capital markets businesses, while it also showed increasing signs of pain from the oil price crash and economic slowdown in Western Canada.

Its stock fell 5.5 percent to C$65.80, and Toronto-Dominion Bank declined 3.8 percent to C$50.20. The overall financials group fell 3.2 percent.

The energy group fell 0.8 percent as crude oil prices fell after Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts and an industry report underlined the supply glut.

U.S. crude prices were down 2.1 percent to $31.21 a barrel.

Natural Resources Ltd fell 2.7 percent to C$26.81, while Suncor Energy Inc was down 0.7 percent at C$32.51.

In contrast, the shares of energy producer Encana Corp surged 20 percent to C$4.98 after the company cut its 2016 capital spending forecast to less than half its 2015 expenditure and said it would lay off 20 percent of its workforce this year.

Industrials fell 1.6 percent, including a 1.9 percent slide in the shares of Canadian National Railway Co to C$77.05.

At 10:41 a.m. EST (1541 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 183.36 points, or 1.44 percent, to 12,580.08. It hit its lowest since Feb. 16 at 12,506.05.

Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were lower.

Gold stocks helped cushion losses for the index, helped by a 1.5 percent rise in spot gold as risk-averse investors sought refuge.

Barrick Gold Corp jumped 5.1 percent to C$19.58 and Goldcorp Inc rose 5.9 percent to C$22.51.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.5 percent.


[Source:- CNBC]