Canada Stocks Drop as Commodities Offset Jobs

Canadian stocks fell, paring a weekly gain, as a drop in oil and metal prices offset better-than-forecast employment data.

Yamana Gold Inc. lost 3.1 percent as the precious metal fell. Primero Mining Corp. soared 36 percent after getting a positive ruling from Mexican tax authorities. Glentel Inc. rose 7.3 percent for a second day of gains after securing a deal to handle mobile-device sales for Target Corp.’s new Canadian stores.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index retreated 28.69 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,418.99 in Toronto, paring earlier losses of as much as 0.5 percent. The benchmark equity gauge rose 0.8 percent this week, snapping two weeks of losses.

“Toronto is lagging due to the underperformance of gold stocks,” said Greg Taylor, fund manager with Aurion Capital Management, in an interview from Toronto. The firm manages about C$8 billion ($8 billion). “There’s a fair bit of concern heading into earnings next week, so the fact the market is up a bit this week is a win.”

Canadian employment rose by 52,100 following an August gain of 34,300, primarily on more full-time hires, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. The jobless rate rose to 7.4 percent from 7.3 percent as the labor force grew by 72,600. The job gain exceeded all 24 forecasts in a Bloomberg economist survey with a median of 10,000, while the unemployment rate was forecast to be unchanged.

The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009 as employers hired more part-time workers.

Gold Slumps

Yamana Gold slipped 3.1 percent to C$18.60 and Kinross Gold Corp. retreated 2.5 percent to C$10.61 as the price of the metal fell from the highest level in almost 11 months. Gold for December delivery slumped 0.9 percent to settle at $1,780.80 an ounce in New York.

Enerplus Corp. declined 1.6 percent to C$16.23 and Baytex Energy Corp. retreated 2.6 percent to C$46.59. Crude for November delivery fell 2 percent to settle at $89.88 a barrel in New York, capping a third weekly drop.

Iamgold Corp. rose 0.4 percent to C$16.13 after announcing a 274 percent increase in indicated resources at its Cote gold project, halfway between Timmins and Sudbury in northern Ontario.

Tax Ruling

Primero Mining soared 36 percent to C$7.20, its biggest gain in more than two years. The Mexican government said it would tax silver sold from the Canadian company’s San Dimas mine at a lower rate.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. jumped 6.2 percent to C$48.49, the most in almost six months, erasing earlier losses in the final hour of trading. The Laval, Quebec-based company hosted its annual general meeting today.

Glentel soared 7.3 percent to C$16.09, a five-month high. The company rallied 3.5 percent yesterday after saying it will handle cell phone sales in Target’s Canadian retail stores, licensed under the brand Target Mobile.

Quebecor Inc. advanced 3.4 percent to C$34.49 after Vince Valentini, analyst with TD Securities, raised the stock to action list buy from buy. The Montreal-based media company agreed to pay C$1.5 billion to Canada’s second-biggest pension fund earlier this week to increase its stake in subsidiary Quebecor Media Inc.

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