Erasing early trading gains, Canadian stocks dipped into the red Tuesday morning as traders were cautious ahead of the key European Union summit scheduled later this week. Falling commodities also weighed on trader sentiment.
Meanwhile, Italy's borrowing costs climbed to the highest level since December at a short-term debt auction, indicating doubts among investors about the outcome of the upcoming European summit.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 47.06 points or 0.42 percent to 11,283.33, after dipping to a fresh one-month low in the previous session.
The Diversified Materials Index was the major loser, dipping close to 2 percent. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost over 3 percent and Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) shed close to 2 percent.
Meanwhile, base-metals miner Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) edged up 0.20 percent after it said that the Toronto Stock Exchange has accepted its notice of intention to make a normal course issuer bid to purchase up to 20 million Class B subordinate voting shares during the period starting June 28, 2012 and ending on June 27, 2013, representing about 3.47 percent of the outstanding Class B subordinate voting shares, or 4.30 percent of the public float, as of June 15, 2012.
The price of crude oil was lingering below the $80-mark for a fourth session Tuesday morning amid concerns over the global economic growth. Crude for August was down $0.45 to $78.76 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Niko Resources (NKO.TO) dived close to 6 percent, while Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) was losing close to 2 percent.
The price of gold was moving lower Tuesday morning as traders were anxious ahead of the key European Union summit scheduled later this week. Gold for August was down $16.30 to $1,570.20 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Goldcorp. (G.TO) and Detour Gold (DGC.TO) were down around 3 percent each.
Global gold miner Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) was down 3 percent after announcing Ammar Al-Joundi as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective July 10, 2012.
Among financial plays, CIBC (CM.TO) and National Bank (NA.TO) were down nearly 2 percent each.
Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) shed over 1 percent ahead of its quarterly earnings results, due on Thursday.
Coated and laminated paper maker Intertape Polymer (ITP.TO) slipped 0.75 percent after announcing plans to close its Richmond, Kentucky facility that manufactures tape products and transfer the shrink film production business and related charge of $14-$16 million is expected to be recorded in the second quarter of 2012.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical company Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (AEZ.TO) said that final Phase 3 results for its oral ghrelin agonist, AEZS-130, show that the drug is safe and effective in diagnosing adult growth hormone deficiency. The stock skyrocketed over 30 percent.
Fertilizer maker Potash Corp. (POT.TO) rose over 3 percent and Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO) added close to 2 percent.
Real estate company Brookfield Office Properties (BPO.TO) edged up 0.30 percent after announcing that it has acquired a rentable property in Washington, DC for $106 million.
In economic news from south of the border, home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas rose by more than economists had expected, according to a report released by Standard & Poor's. The report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in April, matching the upwardly revised increase in March. Economists had expected home prices to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.1 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
A separate report from the Conference Board showed that the consumer confidence index dropped to 62.0 in June from a downwardly revised 64.4 in May. Economists had expected the index to slip to 63.5 from the 64.9 originally reported for the previous month.
In economic news from the euro zone, confidence among German consumers is likely to rise in July, a survey by market research group GfK showed today. The consumer confidence index for July rose to 5.8 from 5.7 in June. Economists expected the score to fall to 5.6 in July.
by RTT Staff Writer
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