Canadian Stocks Fall as U.S. Lawmakers Seek Budget Compromise

Canadian stocks fell a fourth day as U.S. congressional leaders returned to Washington today to resume budget negotiations with a deadline to avoid the so- called fiscal cliff.

Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, the nation’s two largest lenders, retreated at least 0.5 percent as bank stocks contributed most to losses in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index. Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), which will begin selling its BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones early next year, jumped 12 percent to rebound from a post-earnings crash last week that erased almost a quarter of the company’s market value. Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B) gained 1.9 percent after securing orders for six jets.

The S&P/TSX dropped 22.42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,348.38 at 10 a.m. in Toronto. The equity gauge has gained 3.2 percent this year. The Canadian market had been closed on Dec. 25 and 26 for the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays.

U.S. lawmakers are seeking to avoid more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that are just days away from taking effect. Failure to avert the fiscal cliff will probably send the U.S. into a recession in the first half of the year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Lam in Toronto at elam87@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net

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