Canada Stocks Fall, Pare Best Weekly Gain Since October on Crude

  • New York oil drops 0.9% this week, caps third weekly decline
  • Gold touches five-year low amid fifth straight weekly drop

Canadian stocks fell, as a two-day advance fizzled amid renewed selling in miners, paring the benchmark index’s best weekly gain since early October.

Financial services companies advanced this week amid the prospect of additional stimulus in Europe and gradual interest rate increases in the U.S., joining a rally in global markets. Health-care shares bolstered the Canadian market in the week, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. surged 21 percent in five days for its biggest surge in four years. Commodity producers have lagged, as oil hovers near $40 a barrel and industrial metals trade at multiyear lows.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 40.34 points, or 0.3 percent, to 13,433.49 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The S&P/TSX has added 2.7 percent this week, the most since Oct. 9. That pared declines for the year to 8.2 percent, trailed only by Singapore and Greece among developed markets. 

The benchmark’s heavy weighting toward commodity shares has kept its gains in check during the latest week. Energy and raw-materials producers retreated at least 1.7 percent Friday, as oil capped a third weekly loss. Crude dipped below $40 a barrel in New York Wednesday for the first time since August. Gold traded near a five-year low as the price posted a fifth straight weekly retreat, the longest slide since July.

The S&P/TSX Financials Index ended Friday little-changed, rallying 2.8 percent this week. Scotiabank and Bank of Montreal kick off fiscal fourth-quarter results for the big banks Dec. 1.

Lenders got a boost from diverging monetary policy in Europe and the U.S. The European Central Bank said it will do what’s necessary to reach its inflation goal rapidly. American equities rose as investors are getting more comfortable with the idea the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates gradually as the economy warrants.

Valeant jumped 8.3 percent to a two-week high, as the embattled drugmaker has advanced for three straight days. The company will be hosting an investor day Dec. 16, providing updated guidance, discussing certain business operations and highlighting certain research and development programs. Concordia Healthcare Corp., a smaller Canadian peer, added 3.8 percent to extend a six-week high.

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