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Canada Stocks Decline as Health Shares Slump Before Earnings

Canadian stocks fell, dragged down by a drop in health-care companies, as investors awaited earnings and watched for signals from central bank officials.

WestJet Airlines Ltd. lost 3.7 percent to pace declines among industrial stocks. Barrick Gold Corp. and Iamgold Corp. added at least 5.9 percent as gold rose for a second day. Wi-Lan Inc. rallied 14 percent after plunging the most in 12 years yesterday. Teck Resources Ltd. gained 2.3 percent as copper advanced.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 11.46 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,516.89 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge has gained 0.7 percent this year. Trading was in line with the 30-day average.

“The summer rally has already happened so now it’s tough to continue further,” said Paul Gardner, a fund manager with Avenue Investment Management in Toronto. The firm manages about C$300 million ($288 million). “You’re waiting for earnings to come in and earnings have generally been pretty good.”

More than 60 Canadian companies on the TSX are scheduled to report second-quarter earnings in the next two weeks.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is set to deliver his first interest-rate decision since taking over the job in June from former governor Mark Carney, who departed to run the Bank of England. Poloz, who has said Canada’s expansion requires “patience,” will probably keep his benchmark interest rate at 1 percent tomorrow where it’s been since September 2010, according to a Bloomberg economist survey.

The world’s 11th largest economy has been slowed by weak foreign demand, leading to the longest streak of trade deficits in a quarter century.

Beige Book

The U.S. Federal Reserve will publish tomorrow its latest beige book, which updates local economic conditions. Fed Bank of Kansas City President Esther George, speaking today on Fox Business News, said the U.S. was on the “right path” for economic recovery and that cuts in the pace of stimulus are “appropriate.” Central bank stimulus has helped fuel a surge in stocks worldwide.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. fell for the first time in five days, dropping 2.8 percent to C$94.93 for the biggest loss in a month. Health-care stocks lost the most among 10 industries in the S&P/TSX, declining 2.4 percent.

WestJet Tumbles

WestJet, the Calgary-based discount airline, slumped 3.7 percent to C$20.69. North American low-cost airline demand jumped 6.1 percent year-over-year in June, according to a report from George Ferguson, an air transport analyst with Bloomberg Industries.

Load factor, a measure of aircraft capacity and use, rose 20 basis points to 84.7 percent for the industry, with WestJet and JetBlue Airways Corp. registering the only declines, Ferguson said.

Wi-Lan, a patent licensing company based in Ottawa, rallied 14 percent to C$3.83, the biggest gain in two years. The stock yesterday plunged 31 percent, the most since 2001, after losing a U.S. patent infringement trial against Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson AB.

A jury in Tyler, Texas, said the two companies didn’t infringe on three Wi-Lan patents, while phones made by HTC Corp. and Sony Corp. were cleared for infringement for a fourth patent.

Barrick Gold, the world’s largest producer of the metal, climbed 5.9 percent to C$16.62 while Iamgold increased 6.8 percent to C$4.86. Gold futures for August delivery gained 0.5 percent to settle at $1,290.40 an ounce in New York, for the sixth advance in seven sessions.

Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. rallied 5.3 percent to C$3.61 as silver for September delivery rose 0.5 percent.

Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified miner, rose 2.3 percent to C$23.73 as copper advanced for the first time in three days.

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