Canada Stocks Fall Amid U.S. Manufacturing, China Factory Data

Canadian stocks fell as industrial and commodity shares paced declines amid reports showing U.S. manufacturing slowed and China’s factory output trailed forecasts.

China Gold International Resources Corp. plunged 13 percent after a mine accident. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Silver Wheaton Corp. sank more than 1.6 percent, as commodity prices slumped. Canadian National Railway Co. slumped 1.8 percent, while Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. lost 2.7 percent. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. climbed 1 percent after a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst raised his rating on the stock.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 54.76 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,695.14 in Toronto. The benchmark gauge for Canadian equities is up 2.1 percent this year. Trading volume was 45 percent below the 30-day average.

“This is the beginning of a choppy period that may lead into a traditional May, June correction, which is why I’m positioning myself conservatively,” Keith Richards, fund manager with ValueTrend Wealth Management, said by telephone from Barrie, Ontario. His firm manages about C$100 million ($98 million). “The market looks for a trigger, whether it’s manufacturing data or something else.”

U.S. manufacturing expanded less than forecast in March as factories slowed production and orders waned. Factory output in China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals, rose less than estimated. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan index showed pessimism among large manufacturers. The U.S and China are Canada’s two largest trading partners.

Railroads Retreat

Eight out of 10 groups in the S&P/TSX dropped, led by a 1.6 percent decline among industrial companies. Canadian National slumped 1.8 percent to C$100.27. Canadian Pacific Railway lost 2.7 percent to C$128.99.

Material stocks lost 0.9 percent as a group. Copper futures slumped to the lowest in almost eight months on concern demand from China might ease. Silver slumped 1.3 percent to $27.94 an ounce.

China Gold International, the Vancouver-based unit of China National Gold Group, fell 13 percent to C$3.33. A landslide at a mine it owns in Tibet killed 21 people and another 62 are still missing, China National Radio said.

First Quantum, which explores for copper and gold, dropped 2.3 percent to C$18.88. Silver Wheaton sank 1.6 percent to C$31.30. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest miner of the metal, slid 1.2 percent to C$29.48.

Potash climbed 1 percent to C$40.29 after JPMorgan’s Jeffrey Zekauskas raised his recommendation on the world’s largest fertilizer producer to overweight from neutral.

Energy companies climbed 0.2 percent after fluctuating between gains and losses, as oil fell for the first time in six days on speculation that the closure of an Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline will increase U.S. inventories. Encana Corp. fell 1.1 percent to C$19.54.

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., rallied 4.4 percent to C$15.39. The smartphone maker that is attempting a comeback with a new lineup was lifted to speculative buy from hold at Paradigm Capital Inc.

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