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TSX Extends Losses As Commodities Dip On Eurozone Worries - Canadian Commentary

5/7/2012 11:18 AM ET

Canadian stocks were extending losses for a fourth session Monday morning as commodities continued to reel under selling pressure after French and Greek election results escalated concerns over the euro zone debt situation. The outcome of elections are perceived by investors as a setback to the progress achieved thus far on the European debt crisis.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 69.26 points or 0.58 percent to 11,801.97, after losing nearly 500 points or 4 percent in the past three sessions.

The Diversified Materials Index dived close to 3 percent. Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) surrendered nearly 8 percent. Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost nearly 3 percent each.

The price of crude oil was extending losses Monday morning amid concerns over demand growth, with crude for June shedding $1.89 to $96.60 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Niko Resources (NKO.TO) was down 6 percent. Egypt focused oil and gas company TransGlobe Energy (TGL.TO) dived 10 percent even after posting a much improved first-quarter net earnings of $10.98 million or $0.15 per share versus $2.89 million or $0.04 per share a year ago.

Oil and gas company NuVista Energy (NVA.TO) lost 7 percent after slipping into the red in first quarter, reporting net loss of $3 million or $0.03 per share, compared to net income of $9.6 million or $0.10 per share last year. Adjusted loss for the quarter widened to $10.9 million or $0.11 per share from $7 million or $0.08 per share a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss of $0.09 per share for the quarter.

The price of gold was moving lower Monday morning as traders were concerned over the euro zone debt situation after elections in France. Gold for June was down $10.90 to $1,634.30 an ounce.

Among gold stocks, Allied Nevada Gold (ANV.TO) shed close to 6 percent, while Royal Gold (RGL.TO) and Goldcorp. (G.TO) were slipping 2 percent each.

Meanwhile, real estate company Gazit America Inc. (GAA.TO) skyrocketed 30 percent to C$6.84 after it said it received a non-binding preliminary proposal from supermarket operator Gazit-Globe Ltd. (GZT) and First Capital Realty Inc. (FCR.TO) to acquire it for C$7.07 per share. The offer price represents nearly 35 percent premium to the latest closing price of C$5.290.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said contractors took out building permits worth C$6.83 billion in March, up 4.7 percent from February following an upwardly revised 7.6 percent increase the previous month. With the two months of gains, building permits are just below an all-time high set in March 2011.

Elsewhere, German factory orders increased 2.2 percent in March from the previous month on robust foreign demand, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology said. March's monthly growth was bigger than the expected 0.5 percent and far exceeded the 0.6 percent rise logged in February.

Meanwhile, Switzerland's consumer prices declined for the seventh consecutive month in April, data released by the Federal Statistical Office revealed. The consumer price index dropped 1 percent, following a similar size fall in March. Economists had expected a 0.9 percent decline.

by RTT Staff Writer

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