Torontos main stock index ended lower Friday, weighed down by energy issues and a quarterly loss reported by Royal Bank of Canada.
But on the week the index gained 3.8 percent and for May it logged its steepest monthly climb in nearly 10 years, driven by investor optimism that the global economy is starting to climb out of recession.
In volatile action Friday, the TSX shot up nearly 1 percent shortly after the open, but then dropped into negative territory to end lower on a late day sell-off in energy shares, which fell 0.44 percent.
Also weighing on the market was Royal Banks first quarterly loss since 1993. The countrys biggest bank wrote down the value of its U.S. assets and set aside nearly $1 billion to cover bad loans, sending its shares down 4 percent to $43.70.
RBCs results topped analysts expectations, as did those of Canadas other big banks. But analysts said its provisions for bad loans signaled deteriorating credit.
"That was enough to cool down the strong rally weve seen this week," said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.
As a whole, the indexs financial group, which was in the red for most of the day, eked out a 0.05 percent gain. Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 3.6 percent at $55.60, while Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.74 percent to $38.18.
On the upside, materials rose 0.23 percent, boosted by firmer metals prices. Inmet Mining climbed 4.3 percent to $43.48, while Agnico Eagle rose 2.5 percent to $67.49.
The broader S&P/TSX composite index closed down 22.30 points, or 0.21 percent, at 10,370.07, with three of its main sectors lower.
For May, the index was up 11.2 percent, its strongest monthly climb since December 1999, according to Reuters data. It has risen 39 percent from its March lows.
Investors will be watching over the next several weeks for clues on whether the markets recent rally can be sustained, said Jennifer Radman, vice-president at Caldwell Investment Ltd.
"A single day of weakness - I dont know that it necessarily means anything," she said.
"The big question out there is whether weve started a long-term bull market or whether were being tricked by a bear market rally."
In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 96.53 points, or 1.15 percent, to end the week at 8,500.33. The S&P 500 gained 12.31 points, or 1.36 percent, to 919.14. The Nasdaq rose 22.54 points, or 1.29 percent, to finish at 1,774.33.
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