Canadian stocks were lingering deep in the red Wednesday morning as commodities fell amid anxiety over the developments in the euro zone. Traders were skeptical about the outcome of an informal European Union meeting, later during the day, which is scheduled to discuss growth-boosting proposals and the idea of a joint euro-zone bond.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 172.37 points or 1.51 percent to 11,279.41, after gaining a similar 170 points or 1.50 percent in the previous session.
The Diversified Materials Index was the major loser dipping nearly 3 percent. Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) lost close to 5 percent, while Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) surrendering close to 3 percent each.
Latest data from the EIA revealed that U.S. crude oil inventories edged up 0.90 million barrels , while gasoline stocks shed 3.30 million barrels in the weekended May 18. Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to rise by 500,000 barrels, while gasoline stocks are seen dipping 700,000 barrels. Also, prices were under pressure after Iran agreed to allow the U.N. nuclear agency to restart an investigation into the country's nuclear program. Crude for July lost $1.50 to $90.35 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Niko Resources (NKO.TO), Paramount Resources (POU.TO) and Tourmaline Oil (TOU.TO) were down around 4 percent each.
The price of gold was extending losses for a third session Wednesday morning amid a weak euro as traders were skeptical about the outcome of European Union meeting later during the day. Gold for June shed $37.10 to $1,539.50 an ounce.
Among gold stocks Detour Gold (DGC.TO) shed over 5 percent. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Allied Nevada Gold (ANV.TO) moved down nearly 4 percent each.
Financial stocks were under the sellers' radar, with TD Bank (TD.TO) and National Bank (NA.TO) losing over 1 percent each.
Scotiabank (BNS.TO) slipped 1.50 percent after announcing that it has entered into an agreement to sell its interest in the Scotia Plaza complex to Dundee REIT and H&R REIT for approximately $1.266 billion.
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) eased 0.50 percent despite reporting improved second-quarter net income of C$1.03 billion or C$1.51 per share compared to C$813 million or C$1.32 per share last year. Adjusted net income was C$982 million or C$1.44 per share, up from C$770 million or C$1.25 per share a year ago. Analysts were expecting the bank to report earnings per share of C$1.36 for the quarter. In addition, Bank of Montreal's board declared a quarterly dividend of C$0.70 per share.
Full-service investment dealer Canaccord Financial Inc. (CF.TO) slipped in to the red in fourth quarter, reporting net loss of C$31.8 million, or $0.42 per share versus profit of C$41.3 million or C$0.49 per share a year ago. Excluding items, earnings per share were C$0.02 compared to C$0.50 in the same quarter last year. The stock dived nearly 8 percent.
Aviation-training and simulation products provider CAE Inc. (CAE.TO) slipped over 1 percent even after reporting an improved fourth-quarter net income of C$53.2 million or C$0.21 per share compared to C$45.5 million or C$0.18 per share last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings per share of C$0.20 for the quarter.
Meanwhile, retail drug stores operator Shoppers Drug Mart (SC.TO) edged up 0.30 percent after announcing d that it would purchase 19 retail pharmacies and three central fill pharmacies located in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba from Paragon Pharmacies Ltd. (PGN.V) for about $75 million in cash.
Sears Canada Inc. (SCC.TO) rebounded 13 percent. Last week, the stock plunged over 15 percent after Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) announced plans to spin off a minority stake in Sears Canada Inc.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said retail sales rose 0.4 percent to $39.1 billion in March, more than offsetting the decline in February. Warmer than usual weather, especially in Ontario, contributed to the gains. Gains were reported in 7 of 11 sub sectors, representing 56 percent of total retail sales.
From south of the border, the U.S. Commerce Department said that new home sales rose 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 343,000 in April from the revised March rate of 332,000. Economists had expected new home sales to climb to 335,000 from the 328,000 originally reported for the previous month.
From the euro zone, retail sales in the U.K. declined at the fastest pace in two years as April's wettest weather on record damped consumer spending, the latest official figures revealed. The Office for National Statistics said that retail sales volume, including automotive fuel, dropped 2.3 percent from a month ago, much faster than the 0.8 percent decrease forecast by economists. This was the biggest drop since January 2010 and followed a revised 2 percent growth in March.
by RTT Staff Writer
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