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TORONTO: Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday, giving back some of its weekly gain, as worries that the conflict in the Middle East could widen weighed on risk appetite, offsetting a boost to resource shares from higher commodity prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 37.38 points, or 0.2%, at 19,462.86. For the week, it was up 1.1%, ending a streak of three straight weekly declines.

US benchmark the S&P 500 also lost ground as Israel said it carried out raids inside the Gaza Strip, its first announcement of a shift to ground operations aimed at Hamas fighters after their deadly rampage in Israel.

“There’s definitely a flight to safety when we look at oil and gold over what may happen next in the Middle East,” said Mike Archibald, portfolio manager at AGF Investments.

The Toronto market’s technology sector lost 1.8% and heavily weighted financials were down 0.8%.

“Financials are an under-owned sector at the moment, and people are waiting to see when the increase in (interest) rates starts to take effect on some of their loan books,” Archibald said.

Domestic data showed home sales falling for a third straight month in September. The materials sector, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.3% as the price of gold benefited from safe-haven demand, jumping 3.2% to about $1,929 per ounce.

The energy sector was up 1.5% as the price of oil settled 5.8% higher at $87.69 a barrel.

“Crude prices are surging as the oil market will remain very tight given escalating geopolitical risks could threaten supplies,” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

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