CANADA STOCKS-TSX turns lower as financials fall; ends month 0.8 pct higher

(Adds portfolio manager quotes, details on performance, updates
prices)

* TSX ended down 20.89 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,065.78

* Index rose 0.8 percent for the month

* Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups ended lower

TORONTO, May 31 Canada’s main stock index turned
lower on Tuesday after hitting a new nine-month high, pressured
by losses for financial stocks after one of the country’s major
banks reported results that missed estimates.

Still the index ended 0.8 percent higher for the month of
May and has rallied 22 percent from an almost 3-1/2-year low of
11,531.22 in January.

“The market still has legs,” said Steve Belisle, portfolio
manager at Manulife Asset Management, who expects the index to
move higher over the coming months and for oil and gold to be
the most important drivers of performance this year.

Bank of Nova Scotia reported second-quarter results
below market expectations and increased funds set aside to cover
bad loans by 40 percent as lending to energy companies turned
sour.

Its shares fell 1.3 percent to C$64.14, while the overall
financials group retreated nearly 1 percent.

Both the consumer discretionary and industrials groups fell
0.4 percent, while telecommunications was down 0.5 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 20.89 points, or 0.15 percent, at
14,065.78. It touched its highest level since Aug. 19 at
14,172.35 before turning lower.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups ended in negative
territory.

The resource sectors were among those that rallied.

The energy group rose 1.1 percent, including a 1.1 percent
gain for Canadian Natural Resources Ltd to C$38.97.

Oil prices dipped as a stronger dollar and slide in equity
prices sparked profit-taking, but crude futures posted a fourth
straight monthly gain as investors bet that the global glut was
slowly easing.

U.S. crude futures settled at $49.10 a barrel, down
23 cents.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.6 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp climbed 1.7 percent to C$21.92,
while spot gold gained 0.8 percent.

Canada’s economic growth accelerated less than expected in
the first three months of the year and appeared to slow heading
into the second quarter, data from Statistics Canada showed.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Paul Simao and Tom
Brown)

The article CANADA STOCKS-TSX turns lower as financials fall; ends month 0.8 pct higher was originally published at Reuters - US Energy.