Canadian stocks fell, ending a four-day rally, as raw-material and energy shares slumped amid further delays in the Keystone XL pipeline approval process.
TransCanada Corp. dropped 3.7 percent to lead declines among energy companies after the U.S. State Department said it would delay a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Penn West Petroleum Ltd. fell 2.8 percent. Barrick Gold Corp. lost 3.9 percent as talks over a merger with Newmont Mining Corp. were said to break down.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Index slipped 6.71 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 14,493.68 at the close in Toronto. S&P DowJones Indices, which compiles the index, confirmed that level was correct after TMX Group Ltd.’s website had earlier posted the closing price as 14,232.25, a decline of 1.9 percent. TMX spokeswoman Carolyn Quick said the issue originated at S&P DowJones Indices and has been resolved.
The gauge climbed 1.7 percent last week for the largest increase since Feb. 14, reaching the highest level since 2008.
“I’m of the view that there won’t be any decision made on XL until after the midterm elections and then it’s to be seen whether or not President Obama will even approve this while he is still president,” said John Goldsmith, a Toronto-based fund manager who helps manage about C$5.6 billion ($5.1 billion) at Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. The U.S. congressional elections are slated for next November.
The U.S. State Department, which is studying whether the Keystone project is in the country’s interest, said on April 18 that it would hold off making its recommendations until the Nebraska state Supreme Court made a ruling on a legal challenge to the pipeline.
TransCanada retreated 3.7 percent to C$49.38. Penn West Petroleum dropped 2.8 percent to C$10.03.
Barrick Gold lost 3.9 percent to C$19.03. Merger negotiations between Barrick and Newmont broke down three days ago, according to people familiar with the talks. A merger between the companies would bring together the world’s two largest gold miners.
The prospect of more mergers and acquisitions in the gold market could push up valuations for other producers, said Goldsmith. “If the two biggest players in the industry are looking to get hitched up, I think it’s safe to say everybody else is a potential target,” he said by phone.
Osisko Mining Corp. dropped 3.8 percent to C$7.70 after Goldcorp Inc. said it wouldn’t increase its hostile offer for Osisko, ending a bidding war against Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. Yamana fell 2.5 percent to C$8.54 and Agnico fell 3.9 percent to C$30.05. Goldcorp rose 2 percent to C$26.53.
Health-care companies had the largest gain among 10 groups in the S&P/TSX.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. rose 12 percent after the close of regular trading in New York. The company and Pershing Square Capital Management LP are teaming up to bid for Allergan Inc., a person with knowledge of the matter said. Pershing, the fund run by Bill Ackman, and Valeant plan to offer a premium of about 21 percent in a cash and stock bid for Allergan, the person said.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. declined 1.2 percent to $63.77. Sam Poser, an analyst with Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., said he was disappointed at the lack of medium- and long-term financial targets given at the retailer’s investor day last week. The stock fell 5.1 percent in New York trading, the most in three months.
Teck Resources Ltd. fell 1.2 percent to C$24.01 before the company’s earnings report tomorrow. The average analyst estimate for first-quarter sales is C$2.13 billion, 10 percent lower than the previous quarter.
Tweed Marijuana Inc. rose 10 percent to C$3.69 after the medical marijuana producer said in a statement that forecast demand for its cannabis is higher than it had previously projected.