Canadian stocks fluctuated, after the biggest weekly gain since July, as gains in miners offset declines among energy producers before the U.S. Federal Reserve meets tomorrow to consider extending monetary stimulus.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Enerplus Corp. slid at least 1.2 percent as natural gas prices slid. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. dropped 0.8 percent after Pershing Capital Management LP cut its stake in the company to 9.8 percent. Taseko Mines Ltd. and Eldorado Gold Corp. added at least 2.1 percent as miners rallied. Saputo Inc., Canada’s largest dairy processor, rose for a third straight session.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) fell 24.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,374.88 at 12:04 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge rallied 2 percent last week to a two-year high. It’s risen 4.6 percent in October, poised for its best month in two years.
“The market is somewhat directionless,” Brian Huen, the Toronto-based managing partner at Red Sky Capital Management Ltd., said by phone. His firm oversees C$225 million ($215 million). “There’s very little news this morning. We have lots of earnings coming out later this week and the FOMC meeting, and that’s what going to start driving investor sentiment. Until we get more news flow, I think we’re going to be range-bound.”
The Federal Open Market Committee starts a two-day meeting tomorrow to consider when to start trimming $85 billion of bond purchases that have helped bolster global equities. A report today showed factory production in the U.S. rose less than forecast last month, reviving prospects for an extension of economic stimulus by the Fed.
Some 50 companies in the S&P/TSX will report earnings in the next four days, including Barrick Gold Corp., Suncor Energy Inc. and Bombardier Inc.
The benchmark index swung between a gain of 0.1 percent and a drop of 0.2 percent today, with six of 10 main groups retreating.
Industrial shares halted a six-day rally, sliding 0.6 percent. Canadian Pacific fell from an all-time high, retreating 0.8 percent to C$148.84. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square completed a previously announced sale of the railway operator’s shares, reducing its stake by 4 points from July. Canadian National Railway Co. dropped 0.8 percent to C$114.24.
Energy stocks fell 0.3 percent, led lower by gas producers. Canadian Natural Resources slid 1.9 percent to C$32.70 and Enerplus fell 1.2 percent to C$17.90. Natural gas prices plummeted 3.6 percent.
Raw materials producers reversed an earlier decline and gained 0.8 percent for the best performance in the benchmark index, buoyed by gold. The precious metal advanced for the third straight session on speculation the Fed will delay tapering.
Eldorado Gold gained 2.1 percent to C$7.42 and Detour Gold Corp. rose 3 percent to C$9.05. Taseko Mines jumped 6 percent to C$2.67.
Saputo rose 0.4 percent to C$55.05 as the dairy company continues its pursuit of Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co. in an effort to tap growing demand in Asia.
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