TSX ends lower for fifth day as financials weigh

FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index edged lower on Thursday, extending its recent losing streak, as losses for financials ahead of the start of bank earnings season offset a rally in energy shares and investors worried about the economic outlook.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 5.14 points, at 20,188.19, its lowest closing level since Jan. 11.

It was the fifth straight day of declines for the index, its longest losing streak since December, as investors globally braced for additional interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

"Stocks are softening on rising fears that the Fed is going to send this economy into recession," Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

Financials, the most heavily-weighted sector on the TSX, fell 0.6%, adding to this week's decline.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is due to report earnings on Friday. It will be the first of the major banks to report for the latest quarter.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was also a drag, falling 0.7% as the price of copper fell more than 3%.

In contrast, energy rallied 1.9% after five straight days of declines as oil settled nearly 2% higher at $75.39 a barrel.

Upbeat corporate earnings also helped. With more than half the companies on the TSX having reported results, 63.3% have topped fourth-quarter earnings expectations, as per Refinitiv data.

Shares of Bausch Health Cos jumped 13.8%, after the medical device maker beat revenue estimates for the fourth quarter.

Stantec Inc shares climbed 9.3% as the construction company beat fourth-quarter profit estimates and after RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock to "outperform".

And Loblaw Companies Ltd gained 1.8% after the retailer forecast annual earnings above analysts' expectations and fourth-quarter results beat estimates.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Alistair Bell)