February 25, 2014 / 1:27 PM / 4 years ago

Energy shares pull TSX lower; BlackBerry, Cameco gain

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

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Tuesday as a drop in shares of some energy producers, following a selloff in the price of oil, more than offset gains in BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) and Cameco Corp (CCO.TO).

BlackBerry shares jumped nearly 8 percent after the smartphone maker unveiled a cheaper touch screen smartphone and a “classic” model with a keyboard.

Despite Tuesday’s decline, the Toronto market is up about 4.2 percent this year on a recent string of gains.

Nonetheless, investors should be prepared for choppy markets this year, said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management.

“You need to get used to a roller coaster. It’s going to be volatile,” he said. “If things are getting beat up, buy some quality.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 38.10 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,188.98. The Canadian benchmark index has done better than the S&P 500 .SPX, its U.S. counterpart, so far in 2014.

Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Energy shares fell 0.5 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) shed 0.5 percent to C$40.82, and Encana Corp (ECA.TO) dropped 1.5 percent to C$21.15.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped 0.8 percent, with Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO losing 2 percent to C$24.49.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, were little changed, but investors paid attention to the group as the bank earnings season got under way this week.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) edged up to C$72.63 after the lender’s quarterly profit rose 2 percent, topping estimates, as strength in its Canadian branch-banking business and lower loan loss provisions offset a weak performance at its U.S. operation.

National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) jumped 1.4 percent, to C$44.23, after the country’s sixth-largest lender late on Monday reported a 9 percent rise in first-quarter profit, driven by stronger wealth management and financial markets income.

Shares of Cameco shot up 8.2 percent to C$25.42. Analysts said Cameco and other uranium miners were buoyed by a shift in Japanese policy that favors a return of nuclear power to the country’s energy mix.

“Uranium prices have been in the tank for quite some time, mainly due to all of Japan’s 48 operable reactors being offline - so there’s a pretty big supply overhang,” said Daniel Rohr, an analyst with Morningstar.

“This news is an important step in getting those reactors back online, getting them consuming uranium again and getting rid of that supply overhang that kept uranium prices at trough levels.”

Tim Hortons climbed after the coffee chain said it will open at least 800 new restaurants over the next five years under a strategic plan to secure its dominance in Canada and boost returns in the United States.

With reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by W Simon,Phil Berlowitz and Dan Grebler

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