Energy stocks help Toronto market claw back earlier decline

·1-min read
The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index was barely changed on Tuesday, clawing back much of its earlier decline, as gains for the energy and industrial sectors offset weakness in financials after Barclays downgraded several bank stocks.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 0.58 of a point at 20,585.73.

"It's a market that is waiting for the next catalyst and everyone is hesitant," said Greg Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

Major U.S. stock indexes closed lower as investors grew more cautious ahead of a U.S. consumer price index report and a meeting between U.S. political leaders to discuss the debt ceiling.

"The big thing in Toronto ... was good strength in the energy stocks which seemed to bounce a bit with the commodity price but that was offset by some downgrades of some of the banks."

The TSX's financials sector, which accounts for 28% of the index's weighting, was down 0.6%, including declines for major bank stocks, such as Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank after Barclays cut its price targets on the stocks.

Industrials rose 0.5% and energy was up 0.4% as the price of oil settled 0.8% higher at $73.71 a barrel.

Energy rose despite a 1% decline for the shares of Suncor Energy Inc after the company reported quarterly results.

Among the biggest gainers was SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. Shares of the project management company were up 12.2% after its quarterly results.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Shashwat Chauhan and Vansh Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Lisa Shumaker and David Gregorio)