Canadian stocks fell as BlackBerry tumbled after Home Depot Inc. said it was swapping the company’s phones and gold producers slumped amid declining prices for the metal.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., dropped 4.5 percent as Home Depot said it was swapping 10,000 BlackBerry smartphones for Apple Inc.’s iPhone. Cameco Corp. slipped 3 percent after reporting an 84 percent drop in fourth-quarter net income. Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. dropped at least 1.5 percent as the price of gold fell to a one-month low.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 53.08 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,748.15 in Toronto. The S&P/TSX has risen 2.9 percent over the past 12 months, underperforming every developed market in the world except Italy and Spain, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The price of gold “has been on a downtrend since December,” Stephen Gauthier, a fund manager with Fin-XO Securities Inc., said on the phone from Montreal. His firm manages about C$550 million. “Gold had been bought by investors on fears a lot of things would fall apart, but that hasn’t happened. Also, the Chinese market being closed is certainly a depressing effect.”
Markets across Asia, including China, Hong Kong and Japan, are closed today for the Lunar New Year. Markets in China, which surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest trading nation last year, will be closed for the entire week.
Gold producers and energy stocks contributed most to losses in the S&P/TSX as seven of 10 industries retreated. Trading volume was 22 percent lower than the 30-day average.
Barrick, the world’s largest gold producer, dropped 1.5 percent to C$32.34 and Goldcorp, the second-largest producer, fell 2.4 percent to C$35.36. Gold futures for April delivery slumped 1.1 percent to settle at $1,649.10 an ounce in New York.
The S&P/TSX Gold index fell to its lowest level in six months as 28 of 31 members declined. Semafo Inc. slumped 6.7 percent to C$2.65 and Pretium Resources Inc. lost 6.2 percent to C$10.22.
BlackBerry, which unveiled its BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones on Jan. 30, lost 75 Canadian cents to C$15.76. Atlanta-based Home Depot said it will be replacing its corporate employees and managers’ BlackBerrys with iPhones, said Stephen Holmes, a spokesman with the home-improvement chain.
Cameco, the third-largest uranium producer, lost 66 cents to C$21.05. The company recorded a C$168 million writedown of its interest in the Kintyre project in Australia.
Genivar Inc., a Montreal-based engineering services company, declined 2.1 percent to C$23.10 after confirming “inappropriate conduct in the province of Quebec in the financing of political parties and the awarding of municipal contracts has in fact occurred in the past,” in a statement released today.
An officer of the company who had been accused of “improper conduct” during testimony in the Charbonneau Commission investigating potential corruption in the province, is now on leave, Genivar said in the release.