TSX slips as ECB comments weigh; BlackBerry climbs

Thu Feb 7, 2013 4:55pm EST
 
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed slightly lower on Thursday as a wave of negative sentiment after the European Central Bank warned about weak euro zone economies pulled down energy and financial shares, though shares of BlackBerry BB.TO jumped.

Shares of BlackBerry rose 5.8 percent after the smartphone maker named two wireless industry veterans to an expanded board of directors, seeking to allay some investor concern around the level of industry experience on the board. An analyst also upgraded the stock.

Investors initially had been buoyed by the European Central Bank's decision to hold its interest rate at 0.75 percent and by a fall in U.S. jobless claims that pointed to a modest improvement in the country's labor market. But sentiment shifted, denting stocks, after ECB President Mario Draghi said policymakers will monitor the impact of a rising currency. <MKTS/GLOB>

Earnings reports from several Canadian companies also drew attention. Shares of Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO gained after the insurer reported a quarterly profit, while miner Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO slipped after its earnings slumped.

"Investors are unsure where to go from here. The earnings numbers on the Canadian side have been okay but not spectacular," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE unofficially ended down 5.67 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,755.92. Four of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

The energy sector gave back 0.4 percent and played the biggest role in leading the market lower. Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO declined 0.9 percent to C$32.23.

"There is some worry about the outlook for Canadian energy producers for the next few months. That's not something investors want to hear in this environment," Picardo said.   Continued...

 
A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch