By: Glenn Wilkins - Monday, January 18, 2016 Energy Sector Drags TSX Down Suncor, Melcor in Focus Advertisment Stocks in Canada’s biggest centre slipped in early trade on Monday, with the energy group weighing after oil hit 2003 lows while Canadian Oil Sands surged on Suncor Energy Inc's revised bid. The S&P/TSX composite index began the day down 61.98 points to 12,011.48, continuing a downward path it started in the last trading week of 2015. The Canadian dollar crept up 0.10 cents to 68.9 cents U.S. Suncor Energy Inc said it had reached an agreement to buy Canadian Oil Sands Ltd after raising its all-stock offer, valuing the deal at about $4.24 billion excluding debt. Suncor shares backpedaled $1.20, or 3.8%, to $30.02, while Oil Sands shares galloped 89 cents, or 11.9%, to $8.37. Iran has issued an order to increase crude oil production by 500,000 barrels a day, implementing its policy to boost production as soon as sanctions were lifted. RBC cut the target price on Melcor Developments to $16.00 from $18.00. Melcor shares shaved off a nickel to $13.30. National Bank Financial cut the target price on Westjet Airlines to $24.00 from $26.00, with an outperform rating. WestJet shares slid 34 cents, or 1.9%, to $17.89. Oil prices moved lower 36 cents a barrel to $29.06 U.S. Gold prices nicked higher 47 cents to $1,089.35 U.S. an ounce. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 1.04 points early Monday to 487.92. All but two of the 13 TSX subgroups began the session lower, with energy down 2%, metals and mining stocks sliding 1.4%, and health-care down 1.3% The two gainers were in financials, up 0.2%, and gold, nicking up 0.1%. ON WALLSTREET Markets are closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day.