Canadian Stocks Slip on U.S. Data as Mining Shares Drop

Canadian stocks fell, sending the benchmark gauge lower for a second day, as data signaled a slowdown in U.S. manufacturing.

SilverCrest Mines Inc. dropped 11 percent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates. Rock Energy Inc. added 3.2 percent after the company said it was increasing its 2014 capital spending. BlackBerry Ltd. climbed 3 percent after Cormark Securities Inc. raised its price target and rating for the stock.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 57.21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,278.55 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge has risen 4.8 percent this year. The S&P 500 Index, the benchmark for U.S. equities, tumbled 0.5 percent today.

“It’s very much followed the same direction as the U.S.,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research with MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier Inc. in Toronto. The firm manages C$4.7 billion ($4.2 billion). “Anything economically sensitive seems to be a little bit more frothy,” he said in a phone interview.

The Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing slowed to 55.5 in March from 57.1 a month earlier, the London-based group said today. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. A separate report showed China’s manufacturing industry weakened for a fifth straight month.

Health-care and raw-materials shares had the largest declines in the S&P/TSX, both falling at least 2.8 percent.

Mining Shares

SilverCrest Mines decreased 11 percent to C$2.03 after reporting adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 1 cent a share, missing analysts’ estimates for 4 cents. Rock Energy advanced 3.2 percent to C$5.24 after saying it would increase the amount it planned to spend on building out its projects from $62 million to $85 million.

BlackBerry rallied 3 percent to C$10.50. Cormark raised its rating on the stock to speculative buy from market perform. BlackBerry has gained 33 percent so far this year. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company reports financial results on March 28.

SouthGobi Resources Ltd. slipped 27 percent to 53 Canadian cents. The producer of metallurgical coal in Mongolia is seeking additional financing to avoid defaulting on a $250 million convertible debenture after the price of the commodity fell. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., which owns 56 percent of SouthGobi, tumbled 2.4 percent to C$3.69.

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