(Adds investor comments, market details, updates prices)
* TSX ends down 0.5%
* Posts its lowest closing level since Aug. 23
* Financials fall 1%; energy ends nearly 2% lower
* Oil settles 0.9% lower
TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index on
Friday fell to its lowest level in nearly four weeks as
investors showed reluctance to buy stocks during a seasonally
weak period for the market and awaited the outcome of a federal
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended down 111.74 points, or 0.5%, at 20,490.36, its
lowest closing level since Aug. 23.
For the week, the index was down 0.7%, extending its
pullback from a record high earlier this month.
"I think a lot of Canadians are looking to the election on
Monday," said Allan Small, senior investment adviser of the
Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.
Equities investors are casting a nervous eye over some of
the campaign promises made by Canadian political parties,
including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's vow to raise corporate
taxes on the most profitable banks and insurers to help pay for
the cost of the economic recovery and his pledge to immediately
cap oil and gas emissions.
The financial services sector, which accounts for
about 30% of the TSX's valuation, fell 1%. Energy was
down nearly 2% and the materials group, which
includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer
companies, lost 0.7% as commodity prices fell.
Oil settled 0.9% lower at $71.97 a barrel, while
copper was down 0.7%.
Investors "are kind of taking a wait-and-see approach
because September is normally a soft month," Small said. "If
there is no good news it seems the path of least resistance is
U.S. stocks were also lower in a broad selloff.
Canadian National Railway Co gained 2.4% after the
railroad operator said it would resume a previously approved
share buyback, days after walking away from its $29.6 billion
deal for U.S. railroad operator Kansas City Southern.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto
Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru
Editing by Matthew Lewis)