By Nichola Saminather
(Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index ended Wednesday a touch lower, at its lowest in eight weeks, as global investor demand for equities ebbed after the Federal Reserve indicated more interest rates hikes were likely.
- The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 3.84 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,951.67, its lowest level since Dec. 7.
- The index earlier rose as much as 0.15 percent.
- Base metals company Nevsun Resources and financial information company Thomson Reuters Corp were the biggest decliners, with both closing down 7.2 percent.
- Nevsun said on Wednesday it would suspend its dividend and redeploy capital toward growth.
- Thomson Reuters surrendered all its gains from Tuesday, made after a Reuters report that U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group was in talks to buy a 55 percent stake in the Canadian company's Financial and Risk business. The companies confirmed the report after markets closed on Tuesday.
- Energy companies Crew Energy, Advantage Oil & Gas, Kelt Exploration, Freehold Royalties and TORC Oil and Gas were also among the top 10 decliners despite an increase in oil prices.
- U.S. crude futures rose 0.5 percent to $64.85 a barrel as of 4:26 p.m. EST (2126 GMT) after earlier falling as much as 1.3 percent. [O/R]
- Gold producer Endeavor Mining was the biggest gainer, closing up 4.2 percent.
- Gold prices rose 0.4 percent to $1,345.11 an ounce.
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)