Canadian Stocks Fall, Banks Slip on Nervousness Over Fed Meeting

Canadian stocks fell, led by financial companies, as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on what tactics it will use to help stimulate the world’s largest economy.

Research In Motion Ltd., which gets most of its revenue from the U.S., dropped 1.7 percent. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer, Bank of Nova Scotia and Goldcorp Inc. fell at least 0.6 percent before the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Nov. 3.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index decreased 11.43 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,664.81 at 4 p.m. in Toronto.

“Everybody’s nervous about what the Fed will announce on Wednesday,” said Stephen Gauthier, who helps manage about C$500 million ($493 million) as a money manager at Fin-XO Securities in Montreal. “The market has rebounded sharply in the past two months and I think we’re all just wondering what’s next. The markets will be nervous and will move more on the downside in the next few days because of that.”

The S&P/TSX advanced four straight months through October as commodity prices have surged on a weaker U.S. dollar. The greenback declined 10 percent against a basket of world currencies from July through October as investors speculated U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus policies will weaken the currency by increasing the money supply.

BlackBerry Maker

Research In Motion Ltd., which got $8.6 billion of its $14.9 billion in sales from the U.S. last year, slid 1.7 percent to C$57. An Oct. 29 report from two industry research groups showed that the BlackBerry maker has the smallest market share of the top five mobile-phone vendors, outpaced for the first time by Apple Inc.

The S&P/TSX Banks Index fell 0.4 percent after ProPublica reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating JPMorgan Chase & Co. over its dealings in mortgage-backed securities. Bank of Nova Scotia dropped 0.6 percent to C$54.34. Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.4 percent to C$54.15. Toronto-Dominion, Canada’s second-largest lender, slipped 0.1 percent to C$73.36. Bank of Montreal, the No. 4 bank, declined 0.4 percent to C$60.01.

“I don’t think it takes much to rattle the markets,” said Greg Eckel, who helps manage C$900 million ($886 million) as a money manager at Morgan Meighen & Associates Ltd. in Toronto. “It’s not surprising there are some pullbacks. Some people are getting cautious and it looks like people are willing to take profits rather quickly.”

Gold Shares

Twenty-one of 33 gold stocks dropped as the metal declined on a stronger U.S. dollar. Barrick Gold lost 0.6 percent to C$48.82. Goldcorp, the world’s second-biggest gold-mining company by market value, decreased 1 percent to C$45.09.

Crude futures gained 1.9 percent after the Chinese purchasing managers’ index climbed to a six-month high and the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index unexpectedly rose.

Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, advanced 1.1 percent to C$33.03. Talisman Energy Inc., an oil and gas producer with operations on five continents, rallied 0.3 percent to C$18.44.

Cameco Corp., the world’s second-largest uranium producer, advanced 1.8 percent to a nine-month high of C$32.12 after TradeTech LLC said its measure of uranium prices surged the most last month since November 2008. Lawrence B. Smith, an analyst at Bank of Nova Scotia, raised his price estimate on the shares to C$39 from C$31, citing higher uranium prices.

Oilseed processor BioExx Specialty Proteins Ltd. rose 8.2 percent to C$2.76. The company said a third-party review found that its protein products and manufacturing processes don’t violate the patents of the other company in the industry, which it didn’t identify.

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