Canadian stocks were little changed Friday morning as commodities were mixed after China reported poor trade data, which raised concerns over demand growth from the commodity-hungry nation. Also, weak jobs data out of Canada weighed on trader sentiment.
Chinese trade data for July showed exports rising just 1 percent over a year earlier, sharply below forecasts of 5 percent. Import growth fell to 4.7 percent from the previous month's 6.3 percent, also below forecasts.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up 4.87 points or 0.04 percent to 11,863.00.
The price of crude oil was moving lower Friday morning amid demand concerns after today's data revealed China's economy continued to shrink amid declining import and exports. Earlier today the IEA trimmed its 2013 oil demand growth forecast by 0.40 mbd to 90.50 mbd from the earlier 90.90 mbd, on weaker economic growth assumptions. For the year 2012, the IEA now forecasts oil demand growth of 0.90 mbd to 89.60 mbd. Crude for September was down $0.50 to $92.86 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Niko Resources (NKO.TO) dived nearly 6 percent, while Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) was losing 3 percent.
Oil and natural gas company Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. (LEG.TO) reported higher second-quarter funds from operations of C$47.42 million or C$0.33 per share compared to C$40.50 million or C$0.28 per share in the year ago quarter. The stock shed over 1 percent.
Conventional oil and gas company NuVista Energy Ltd. (NVA.TO) eased about 1 percent after slipping into the red reporting second-quarter net loss of $85.4 million or $0.86 per share compared to a profit of $22.4 million or $0.23 per share in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted loss was $14.7 million or $0.15 per share, compared to $2.6 million or $0.03 per share in the same period last year.
Crude oil and natural gas transporter Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PPL.TO) reported improved second quarter net profit of C$80.4 million compared to C$48.0 million last year. On a per-share basis, earnings declined to C$0.28 from C$0.29 on higher share count. The stock surrendered 3 percent.
Global energy services company Shawcor Ltd. (SCL_A.TO, SCL_B.TO) shed nearly 3 percent even after reporting second-quarter net income of C$21.40 million or C$0.30 per share, compared to C$15.70 million or C$0.21 per share in the previous year quarter.
Precious metals miner Osisko Mining Corp. (OSK.TO) swung to profit in second-quarter, reporting net income of C$13.3 million or C$0.03 per share, compared to a net loss of C$23.8 million or C$0.06 per share in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.07 per share this quarter. The stock dipped 3 percent.
The price of gold was ticking higher Friday morning amid a firm U.S. dollar, with stimulus expectations from global central banks supporting gold price. Gold for December was up $6.70 to $1,626.90 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Royal Gold (RGL.TO) shed 2 percent, while Goldcorp. (G.TO), Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) were edging up about 0.50 percent each.
Meanwhile, smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) jumped 5 percent amid reports that IBM is eying its enterprise unit.
Automotive supplier Magna International Inc. (MG.TO) moved up nearly 5 percent after reporting a 24 percent increase in profit for the second quarter and affirmed its sales outlook for fiscal 2012.
Silver streaming company Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW.TO) moved up nearly 1 percent despite reporting a lower second quarter net income at $141.4 million or $0.40 per share compared to $148.1 million or $0.42 per share in the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to earn $0.37 per share this quarter.
Software solutions provider Open Text Corp. (OTC.TO) soared nearly 9 percent even after reporting a sharp slump in its fourth-quarter net income at $7.97 million or $0.14 per share compared to $28.59 million or $0.49 per share in the same quarter last year. However, non-GAAP earnings rose to $1.17 per share from $1.05 per share in the year ago quarter, missing consensus estimates at $1.16 per share for the quarter.
Wood products company Stella-Jones Inc. (SJ.TO) gathered over 1 percent after it said its second-quarter net income grew to C$20.84 million or C$1.30 per share, from C$17.27 million or C$1.08 per share a year before. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings per share of C$1.22 for the quarter.
Renewable energy company Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN.TO) moved up over 1 percent even after reporting lower second-quarter net earnings of $6.1 million or $0.04 per share compared to $7.3 million or $0.07 per share last year. Adjusted net earnings were $6.9 million or $0.05 per share compared to $8.2 million or $0.07 per share last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.04 per share for the quarter.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said employment in July declined by 30,000, resulting in a 0.1 percentage points rise in unemployment, which now stands at 7.3 percent. However, on a yearly basis employment increased 0.8 percent or 139,000.
From the euro zone, Germany's EU harmonized inflation came in below the preliminary estimates In July, final data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed. The harmonized index of consumer prices measured under the EU methodology, increased 1.9 percent annually in July, slightly slower than the 2 percent gain estimated earlier. In June, the inflation rate was 2 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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