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TSX Dips On Global Growth Concerns - Canadian Commentary

Toronto stocks were lingering in the red Monday morning as a recent spike in oil prices escalated worries over global economic growth. Meanwhile, remarks by Moody's Investors Service that a Greek default "remains high" also weighed on trader sentiment.

Elsewhere, the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, who met over the weekend, called for further enhancement of euro zone's bailout fund before the rest of the G20 nations can consider increasing their contribution to the International Monetary Fund's resources.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 40.03 points or 0.31 percent to 12685.74, a day after snapping its three-session winning streak.

The price of crude oil was paring its recent gains Monday morning amid a steady U.S. dollar and weak cues from the global equity markets. Crude for April was down $1.10 to $108.67 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Petrominerales (PMG.TO) lost nearly 14 percent after providing details on year-end reserves and operational updates.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Trilogy Energy (TET.TO) were down around 2 percent each.

The price of gold was recovering from early trading losses, with gold for April adding $2.30 to $1,778.70 an ounce.

Seabridge Gold (SEA.TO) and Allied Nevada Gold (ANV.TO) surrendered around 2 percent each.

Guyana Goldfields Inc. (GUY.TO) dived nearly 9 percent. Friday, the company completed positive feasibility study for its Aurora Gold Project in Guyana.

Among base-metals stocks, with First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) and Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) surrendered around 2 percent each.

Natural, organic and specialty foods products company SunOpta Inc. (SOY.TO) lost close to 4 percent after it said it expects to report a loss of $0.11 per diluted common share and a loss from continuing operations of $0.06 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2011. Further, it announced plans to trim its workforce by 6 percent, reduce number of divisions and restructure operations to save about $3 million a year in operating costs.

Meanwhile, portfolio management services provider Fiera Sceptre Inc. (FSZ) soared 18 percent after announcing that National Bank takes 35 percent strategic stake in Fiera.

South America focused oil and gas explorer Gran Tierra Energy (GTE.TO) gained over 5 percent after reporting over 2-fold jump in its fourth quarter net income at $126.9 million or $0.45 per share compared to $37.2 million or $0.15 per share a year ago.

International pharmaceuticals company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) swung to profit in the fourth quarter, reporting net income of C$55.86 million or C$0.18 per share compared to a net loss of C$31.13 million or C$0.10 per share in the prior year. Adjusted earnings increased to C$0.94 per share from C$0.50 per share. The stock gained nearly 3 percent.

In economic news from south of the border, the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December. Economists had been expecting to index to increase by about 1.5 percent.

Elsewhere, euro zone's broad monetary aggregate M3 grew 2.5 percent year-on-year in January, data published by the European Central Bank showed. The increase exceeded December's 1.5 percent rise and 1.8 percent rise forecast by economists.

by RTT Staff Writer

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