Canadian stocks fell, pairing the benchmark index’s gain for the week, as energy shares dropped with oil prices and tensions escalated over Ukraine.
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. declined 3.7 percent after saying unscheduled repairs on an oil upgrader would cut into its 2014 synthetic oil output. Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. increased more than 1.3 percent as the precious metal climbed for a third day.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Index fell 20.68 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,533.57 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge ended the week with a 0.2 percent gain.
“With all the rumblings on the border and incursions here and there and Ukrainians shooting pro-Russian sympathizers and vice versa, that’s unnerved some people,” said Michael O’Brien, a fund manager with TD Asset Management Inc. in Toronto. “This is sort of pretty typical Friday behavior, people maybe closing out some bets ahead of the weekend, not quite sure what’s going to happen,” he said by phone. The firm manages around C$218 billion ($197.7 billion).
The Group of Seven nations are preparing new measures against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after the U.S. accused Russia of trying to impose its will at “the barrel of a gun and force of a mob.” The Russian central bank unexpectedly increased a key interest rate today S&P downgraded the country’s credit rating.
Energy stocks, which have rallied 13 percent this year for the best performance among 10 groups, fell 0.4 percent today.
West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1.3 percent to $100.60 a barrel as U.S. stockpiles grew and fuel demand declined to a 10-month low.
Canadian Oil Sands fell 3.7 percent to C$23.25 after announcing the upgrader shutdown, which will cut into supplies of synthetic oil from Alberta and could shrink inventories in U.S. oil terminals.
Barrick rose 2.6 percent to C$19.74 and Goldcorp rose 1.3 percent to C$27.43. Gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,300.80 an ounce.
Open Text Corp. rose 6.6 percent to C$54.11 after the company that makes software for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security boosted its dividend.
West Fraser Timber Co. rose 3.8 percent to C$50.15 after reporting adjusted earnings of 97 Canadian cents for the first quarter, surpassing analyst estimates of 76 Canadian cents.
Telus Corp. fell 1.1 percent to C$38.04 after the Globe and Mail reported the Canadian government is prepared to cut the telecommunications company out of future wireless spectrum auctions if it doesn’t abandon efforts to buy Mobilicity, a struggling mobile phone company.
To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in Toronto at email@example.com