Snapping their five-session winning streak, Canadian stocks were lingering in the red Friday morning as commodities faltered amid euro zone worries even after Europe signed off a bailout deal for Spain's troubled banking sector.
Meanwhile, data out of Canada revealed June inflation at 1.5 percent in, softer than the consensus estimate of 1.7 percent.
In corporate news from the U.S., diversified conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) posted higher second-quarter operating earnings of $4.0 billion or $0.38 per share, compared with $3.75 billion or $0.34 per share in the previous year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.37 per share for the quarter.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 67.07 points or 0.57 percent to 11,598.63, after gaining nearly 250 points or just over 2 percent in the past five straight sessions.
The Diversified Materials Index was the major loser, dipping nearly 3 percent. Inmet Mining (IMN.TO), Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) were down over 2 percent each.
The price of crude oil moved down Friday morning on profit taking after seven straight days of gains that pushed prices to a two-month high, as escalating fighting in Syria, the bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria and disruptions in output in the North Sea escalated supply fears.
Crude for September delivery, the most actively traded contract lost $1.41 to $91.25 a barrel.
In the oil patch, MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) and Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO) surrendered around 2 percent each.
Gold stocks were mixed. The price of gold was flat Friday morning as the U.S. dollar was steady versus a basket of currencies. Gold for August edged up $0.40 to $1,580.80 an ounce.
Detour Gold (DGC.TO) shed about 3 percent, while Royal Gold (RGL.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) were gathering around 1 percent each.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said consumer prices rose 1.5 percent year-over-year in June, following a 1.2 percent gain in May, largely due to higher prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles and to a lesser extent, for electricity. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, inflation declined 0.2 percent in June, after decreasing 0.3 percent the previous month. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada's core index rose 2.0 percent in the 12 months to June, following a 1.8 percent gain in May. Price increases for the purchase of passenger vehicles and electricity were main contributors to the year-over-year increase in the core index. On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.1 percent in June, after declining 0.1 percent in May.
From the euro zone, producer price inflation in Germany slipped in June to its lowest level since May 2010, the Federal Statistical Office said. The producer price index rose 1.6 percent year-on-year in June from 2.1 percent in May. This was the lowest rate of inflation since May 2010, when it stood at 0.9 percent. Economists expected an increase of 1.8 percent in the producer price index.
by RTT Staff Writer
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