Canadian stocks fell as a slump in technology and raw-material shares offset a rally in financial companies amid corporate earnings.
Gold producers declined as Barrick Gold Corp. and Eldorado Gold Corp. dropped at least 2.6 percent. BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., fell 8.1 percent, retreating for a fourth straight day. Thomson Reuters Corp. slid 2.3 percent after predicting tightening profit margins. Talisman Energy Inc. rallied 2.1 percent after posting a fourth-quarter profit for the first time in four years.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index slid 13.74 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,775.28 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark gauge has gained 2.8 percent this year. About 753 million shares traded hands on Canadian exchanges today, or 1.6 percent below the three-month average.
“People are focused on earnings, you’ve seen stock selection become more important,” Jeff Young, chief investment officer at NexGen Financial Corp, said in a phone interview. The Toronto-based firm manages just over C$1 billion. “It’s turning into a more normalized market, but whether we’re completely out of the woods in the macro side, the reality is nothing’s really been fixed.”
Gold producers fell as the price of the metal slipped 0.3 percent to $1,645.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Barrick Gold lost 83 Canadian cents to C$31.72. Eldorado Gold dropped 35 Canadian cents to C$10.68, its lowest level since August.
BlackBerry slumped C$1.25 to C$14, for the worst performance in the benchmark index. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which is rolling out its new BlackBerry 10 lineup, has tumbled 18 percent over the past four days. The stock has rallied 19 percent this year on optimism that the phones can make the company competitive again with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy lineup.
Chorus Aviation Inc. tumbled 3.6 percent to C$4.34 after Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. sold its stake in the regional airline. Chorus operates regional flights for Air Canada, the country’s largest carrier, under the Jazz and Air Canada Express banners. Fairfax, an insurer and investment management company based in Toronto, was the third-biggest holder of Chorus stock.
Thomson Reuters stumbled 70 Canadian cents to C$30.02. The provider of financial news and information services predicted slow growth and tightening profit margins in 2013, and announced plans to cut 2,500 jobs. Thomson Reuters is midway through an effort to turn around its financial and risk-management operations, Chief Executive Officer James C. Smith said in today’s statement.
CAE Inc. slid 2 percent to C$10.58. The simulation manufacturer posted third-quarter revenue of C$522.1 million, falling short of the average estimate of C$546.3 million.
Financial shares rose as a group. Genworth MI Canada Inc. rallied 1.3 percent to C$24.88 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce climbed 0.7 percent to C$83.33.
Talisman jumped 26 Canadian cents to C$12.82, its highest level since October. The Calgary-based oil and natural gas producer with operations on six continents posted per-share net income of 37 Canadian cents. Hal Kvisle, who took over as chief executive officer in September, has announced plans to reduce spending, cut debt and exit certain regions, including Peru, to refocus the company on near-term cash flow.
Orko Silver Corp., based in Vancouver, surged 22 percent to C$2.60, its highest level since March. Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp., an Idaho-based silver producer, offered to buy Orko Silver for C$379.9 million in cash and shares in an attempt to trump a rival bid from First Majestic Silver Corp.
Coeur d’Alene tumbled 10 percent to C$21.09, while First Majestic Silver rose 1 percent to C$18.17.