Canadian stocks settled lower for a second straight day Friday, after a late sell-off led mainly by mining, information tech, and financial stocks. Gold and energy stocks rebounded on hopes that the recent policy measures introduced by various central banks would pave way for economic recovery and a lower interest regime.
In economic news, Canada's annual inflation rate eased slightly in August, leaving some room for the Bank of Canada to hold rates.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Friday at 12,383.60, down 25.65 points or 0.21 percent. The index touched an intraday high of 12,473.45 and a low of 12,383.68.
The Metals & Mining Index was down 1.64 percent, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) dropping 1.41 percent and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) surrendering 1.96 percent. Inmet Mining Corp. (IMN.TO) shed 1.59 percent, while Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) moved up 0.40 percent.
The Energy Index gained 0.85 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for November delivery up 0.47 or 0.5 percent to close at $92.89 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX.
Among energy stocks, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) was down 0.15 percent, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) was down 1.16 percent, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) was up 0.53 percent, and Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) gained 1.17 percent.
The Global Gold Index gained 0.63 percent, with gold futures for December delivery gaining $7.80 or 0.4 percent, to close at $1,778.00 an ounce Friday on the NYMEX.
The Capped Materials Index gained 0.21 percent, with fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) dropping 0.39 percent.
Among gold stocks, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) gained 0.46 percent, Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) was up 0.75 percent, Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) gathered 0.75 percent, Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) surrendered 1.24 percent, and Kinross Gold (K.TO) gained 0.70 percent. B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) gained 9.30 percent.
The Financial Index dropped 0.50 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) down 1.34 percent, Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) down 0.76 percent, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) was up 0.99 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was down 0.17 percent.
Transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A.TO, BBD.B.TO) gained 0.82 percent.
The Information Technology Index dropped 1.55 percent, with smartphone maker Research In Motion Limited (RIM.TO) shedding 7.41 percent after reporting service outage across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Private equity firm Onex Corp. (OCX.TO) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board or CPPIB, joint owners of UK-based industrial holding company Tomkins, said that CPPIB has agreed to acquire Tomkin's Air Distribution division for about $1.1 billion in cash. Shares of Onex gained 2.05 percent.
Wealth management company Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. (GS.TO) was down 0.28 percent after reporting a lower fourth quarter profit of C$2.3 million or C$0.08 per share compared to C$22.2 million or C$0.75 per share in the year ago quarter. Analysts expected earnings of C$0.18 per share for the quarter.
YM BioSciences Inc. (YM.TO) gained 1.72 percent after reporting a narrower fourth quarter net loss of C$6.1 million or C$0.04 per share compared to the loss of C$8.9 million or C$0.08 per share a year ago. Analysts expected the company to report a loss of C$0.05 per share for the quarter.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said consumer prices rose at a slower 1.2 percent in year-over-year in August, following a 1.3 percent gain in July. Higher prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles, gasoline, meat and food purchased from restaurants were major factors in the increase of the August Consumer Price Index. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.6 percent in the 12 months to August, following a 1.7 percent gain in July.
In economic news from Europe, the U.K. budget deficit remained unchanged in August from the previous year, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Excluding intervention, public sector net borrowing was GBP 14.4 billion in August, equal to the net borrowing in August 2011. Economists forecast a shortfall of GBP 15 billion.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Friday lowered its growth forecast for global merchandise trade, citing economic slowdown in China and the other major world economies, and the unresolved debt crisis in the Eurozone. The WTO downgraded its outlook for international trade growth to 2.5 percent this year from its previous estimate of 3.7 percent. The forecast for 2013 has been revised down to 4.5 percent from 5.6 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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