Canadian Stocks Fall, Snapping Longest Streak Since 1995

Canadian stocks fell for the first time in 13 days, ending the longest advance in almost two decades, as banks and technology companies slipped.

Bank of Nova Scotia and National Bank of Canada dropped at least 0.8 percent before the nation’s largest lenders disclose earnings next week. Thompson Creek Metals Co. jumped 8.8 percent after reporting improving sales. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. and Semafo Inc. climbed at least 2.5 percent as gold prices gained for a third week. Agrium Inc. rose 2.2 percent after reporting better-than-projected earnings.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 4.65 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 14,205.72 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark equity gauge had jumped 5.4 percent in the 12 days before today for the longest rally since March 1995.

“When we’ve seen a move like this, there will always be some give-back,” said Andrew Pyle, fund manager with ScotiaMcLeod Inc. in Peterborough, Ontario. He manages about C$220 million ($197 million). “What will be key is if the TSX can hold above the 14,000 level.”

The index is trading close to its highest level since 2011 and is the best-performing among the world’s 10 largest equity markets with a 4.3 percent advance this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Bank of Nova Scotia lost 1 percent to C$63.32 and National Bank dropped 0.8 percent to C$43.50 to pace declines among financial stocks. National Bank is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on Feb. 24, the first of the nation’s largest lenders to do so.

2011 Peak

The S&P/TSX is 0.5 percent below its peak of 14,270.53 reached on April 5, 2011, the highest level since June 2008. Of the 241 stocks in the benchmark Canadian equity gauge, 156 have advanced this year. The S&P/TSX trades at 19.5 times earnings, its highest valuation since April 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Raw-materials stocks in the S&P/TSX have soared 18 percent this year to drive the rally in the benchmark Canadian equity gauge. The gold price has jumped 10 percent in 2014 after slumping the most since 1981 last year. Gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,323.60 in New York.

Thompson Creek jumped 8.8 percent to C$3.21, the highest level in a month, after reporting 36.5 million pounds in molybdenum sales in 2013, compared with 28.7 million pounds a year ago. Sales climbed to $434.4 million from $401.4 million a year ago.

Resources Rally

Turquoise Hill Resources gained 6.4 percent to C$4 and Semafo rallied 2.5 percent to C$4.46. Six of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX declined on trading volume 6.3 percent lower compared with the 30-day average.

Agrium climbed 2.2 percent to C$100.80, the highest close in almost a month. The fertilizer company reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 87 cents a share, compared with the average estimates of analysts of 84 cents.

The company said in a release that global nitrogen and phosphate markets improved in early 2014 and forecasts global phosphate demand to rise 2 percent to 4 percent.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. advanced 0.6 percent to C$41.15 and Encana Corp. rose 1.8 percent to C$21.03. Crude rose 1.9 percent this week in New York for a sixth weekly gain.

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