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Canada Stocks Slip as Commodities, Factory Sales Decline

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Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks fell for a third day as gold and oil producers retreated and factory sales dropped the most in almost four years.

Goldcorp Inc., the second-biggest gold miner by market value, lost 2 percent after quarterly sales fell short of analysts’ estimates and the metal traded below $1,600 for the first time since August. Energy producers slid as oil dropped amid declining euro-area exports. BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion Ltd., fell 5.5 percent to extend its loss for the week to 14 percent. Rogers Communications Inc. soared 4.1 percent after posting better-than-estimated profit.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 35.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,686.63 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark index lost 0.9 percent this week, the biggest weekly loss in three months. About 796 million shares traded hands on Canadian exchanges today, 4.3 percent above the three-month average. The market is closed Monday for Family Day.

“Commodities have not been in favor, that’s for certain,” Ian Nakamoto, director of research with MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier Inc., said from Toronto. His firm manages about $4 billion. “No one wants to push the market up significantly higher, but when the market comes down it seems like people are willing to step in. I still think it’s a forgiving market.”

Canadian factory sales fell 3.1 percent in December, the most since May 2009, as car assembly plants experienced longer-than-usual seasonal shutdowns, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Existing home sales rose for the first time in four months in January on gains in Toronto and Vancouver, the Canadian Real Estate Association said today.

Gold Stumbles

Commodity producers had the biggest decline among 10 groups in the benchmark index. Gold traders are the most bearish in more than a year on mounting speculation that improving economic growth from the U.S. to China will curb demand for this year’s worst-performing precious metal. Twenty analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week expect prices to fall next week, while 11 were bullish and three were neutral, making the proportion of bears the highest since Dec. 30, 2011.

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest gold producer, slumped 1.9 percent to C$31.82.

Goldcorp tumbled 68 Canadian cents to C$33.99, its lowest level since July. The company reported fourth-quarter sales of $1.44 billion, missing the $1.56 billion average of eight estimate, as rising prices for labor, raw materials and equipment pressured the company. Goldcorp also struggled last year with seismic activity that affected output at the Red Lake mine in Ontario, its top producer, and water shortages at the Penasquito operation in Mexico.

Energy Shares

Energy producers also retreated, as Suncor Energy Inc. slumped 1.4 percent to C$31.75 and Penn West Petroleum Ltd. tumbled 4.2 percent to C$10.20.

Crude for March delivery fell 1.5 percent to $95.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. industrial production unexpectedly shrank and euro-area exports declined the most in five months, raising concern that fuel demand may be weakened.

Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. dropped 5.3 percent to C$27.02, the most since August 2011. The operator of North America’s largest coal-export facility said it will cap dividend payments to help pay for the replacement of aging equipment.

BlackBerry Tumbles

BlackBerry tumbled 82 Canadian cents to C$14.23. The stock dropped 14 percent in the week. Jim Balsillie, Research In Motion’s co-chief executive officer until January 2012, cut his last formal ties to a company he helped build for two decades when he reported yesterday that he no longer holds a stake. Balsillie had been the third-largest shareholder.

Phone companies had the largest gain among groups in the S&P/TSX, as all five companies advanced.

Rogers Communications rallied C$1.85 to C$47.32. Canada’s largest wireless carrier reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by consumer spending on data-hungry devices such as Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 5. Chief Executive Officer Nadir Mohamed announced plans to step down next January, a surprise move that sent Rogers in search of a new leader for the second time in four years.

Telus Inc., Canada’s No. 3 carrier, jumped 1.5 percent to C$67.81. The Vancouver-based phone company posted fourth-quarter revenue of C$2.85 billion, better than the average analysts’ estimate of C$2.82 billion.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Pringle in New York at springle1@bloomberg.net; Eric Lam in Toronto at elam87@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net