TSX edges lower as slumping oil prices weigh

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Canadian oil and gas producers dragged Toronto's main stock index sharply lower this morning as crude oil prices fell.

Cenovus Energy was among the hardest hit, with its shares down about eight per cent after it announced the pending retirement of its CEO and plans to sell assets and cut costs.

At 10:35 a.m. ET (1435 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 91.79 points, or 0.61 percent, to 15,241.39.

The overall energy group climbed 1.5 percent, as the price of oil, set for its biggest drop in the first half of the year since 1997, pared earlier losses.

The financials group, which makes up roughly a third of the index's weight, gained 0.2 percent.

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Suncor Energy was among the most influential gainers, rising 1.7 percent to C$38.75. Bank of Nova Scotia led with a 0.9 percent gain to C$79.54.

Just four of the index's 10 main sector groups ended lower.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners as well as fertilizer and lumber companies, added 1.3 percent.

The Canadian dollar pulled back 0.24 of a USA cent to an average price of 75.13 cents US.

Among individual stocks, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc rose 4.8 percent to C$17.6 after activist investor and hedge fund manager John Paulson joined the company's board. Teck Resources added 1.7 percent to trade at C$20.20.

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