(Updates closing figures and adds analyst comment)
* TSX down 58.20 points, or 0.37 percent, to 15,742.20
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main industry groups fell
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index pulledback from a 7-1/2-month high on Thursday with broad declines ledby energy stocks under pressure from weaker oil prices.
Suncor Energy Inc was the biggest drag on the index,falling 2.2 percent to C$42.06. It was followed by CanadianNatural Resources Ltd, which declined 2 percent toC$40.66.
The overall sector retreated 1.7 percent, as oil pricesfell. A bearish 2018 outlook for oil demand by the InternationalEnergy Agency weighed on the market. U.S. crude pricessettled down 1.4 percent at $50.60 a barrel.
Other influential decliners included Shaw Communications Inc, which slid 3.7 percent to C$27.49 and Kirkland LakeGold Ltd, which tumbled 8.9 percent to C$16.85.
Desjardins cut its rating on Kirkland Lake to “hold” from”buy” after the company released quarterly and productionresults.
The overall materials sector, home to mining firms and otherresource companies, lost 0.2 percent.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite indexfell 58.20 points, or 0.37 percent, to end at15,742.20.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, seven were in negativeterritory.
The retreat comes amid a backdrop of uncertainty surroundingthe North American Free trade Agreement, with negotiations onthe pact turning increasingly sour and talks of a “sunsetclause” that would automatically terminate NAFTA every fiveyears unless there were fresh negotiations.
“The market doesn’t like change, so I think it would beperceived initially as negative,” said Michael Sprung, presidentat Sprung Investment Management about the potential impact ofsuch a clause.
“But we do a lot of cross border trade. I can’t see how inthe long-term that’s going to change very much … I reallythink things would adjust.”
Financial services stocks fell 0.4 percent, with Bank ofNova Scotia down 0.8 percent at C$80.21.
On the positive side, Alimentation Couche Tard Incrose 3.9 percent to C$61.24. The company is buying back 4.4million of its shares that were held by Metro Inc andEight Capital upgraded the company to a “buy” from “neutral,”citing positive trends. The overall consumer staples sectoradded 0.7 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by151 to 93, for a 1.62-to-1 ratio on the downside.(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Bernadette Baum and LisaShumaker)