Canadian stocks erased gains in the last hour of trading as a plunge in Research In Motion Ltd. overshadowed gains in energy and mining shares.
RIM plunged 7.4 percent after BlackBerry service was disrupted for some users outside of North America. Sun Life Financial Inc. and Manulife Financial Corp. fell at least 0.8 percent. Niko Resources Ltd., which explores for oil and gas, surged 17 percent. San Gold Corp. added 3.9 percent.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 25.65 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,383.60 in Toronto. The benchmark equity gauge slumped 0.9 percent for the week.
“People don’t want to hold risk into the weekend,” said Brian Huen, managing partner with Red Sky Capital Management Ltd. in Toronto. His firm manages about C$55 million ($56.4 million). “Spain is potentially asking for aid, but until that actually happens it’s speculation. You won’t put both feet in the water unless you know that’s what’s going to happen.”
Seven of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX declined. Trading volume was 124 percent greater than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mining and energy stocks climbed on higher gold and crude prices.
The Financial Times reported that European policy makers will unveil a financial bailout program for Spain as early as next week. Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said this week that Spain will consider seeking a bailout if the conditions imposed are acceptable.
Sun Life tumbled 1.9 percent to C$23.14. Manulife slipped 0.8 percent to C$11.77. Royal Bank of Canada dipped 1.3 percent to C$55.99. Financial stocks are up 6.9 percent this year.
RIM tumbled 7.4 percent to C$6.25, its lowest level in more than nine years, as users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa lost access to e-mail and the Internet. The malfunctions have since been resolved, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in e-mails. Apple Inc. also launched the iPhone 5 smartphone today, seen as the biggest threat to RIM’s shrinking market share, with sales expected to top 10 million over the weekend.
San Gold jumped 3.9 percent to C$1.08. Gold rose for a fifth week, the longest rally since February.
Niko Resources, the worst-performing stock in the S&P/TSX this year, soared 17 percent to C$11.79. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. gained 0.5 percent to C$32.24 and Crescent Point Energy Corp. added 4.4 percent to C$45.70. Crude for November delivery advanced 0.5 percent to settle at $92.89 a barrel in New York for its first gain in five days.
Superior Plus Corp. fell 3.4 percent to C$9.11, paring earlier losses, after the propane distributor said the Canada Revenue Agency may reassess its tax obligations related to its 2008 conversion to a company from an income trust.