CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as resource stocks make hasty retreat

Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:21pm EDT
 
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* TSX down 56.36 points, or 0.46 percent, at 12,257.18
    * Energy stocks slip despite rise in crude oil price
    * Gold miners and banks turn lower after morning strength

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended
in the red on Tuesday as investors fretted anew about prospects
for global growth, pushing down oil and gas companies and other
resource-based shares, but Blackberry maker Research In Motion
Ltd jumped after it released solid subscriber numbers. 
    The eight heaviest weights on the resource-rich Toronto
index were all energy or mining companies. Banking stocks rose
in morning trade, but they also retreated and closed lower.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 56.36 points, or 0.46 percent, at
12,257.18. On Monday it dropped 70 points, and has now declined
in each of the last four sessions.
    The index's fall came despite gains in copper and other
base-metals prices as investors focused on signs that economic
recovery is not assured despite the recent monetary policy
easing undertaken by several major central banks.
    "Equities as a group tend to move with broader-based
macro-economic signals," said Patricia Mohr, vice president,
economics, and commodity market specialist at Scotiabank.
    "So if investors are worried about global economic
growth...then sometimes equities can actually underperform where
commodities prices are," she said, referring to a similar
historical disconnect between the rising price of bullion and
the lagging performance of gold miners.
    Suncor Energy Inc dropped 1.7 percent to C$32.23,
while fellow oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd 
lost 1.7 percent to C$30.94. Cenovus Energy Inc slipped
1.7 percent to C$33.94 and Encana Corp fell 1.9 percent
to C$21.47.
    Diversified miner Teck Resources fell 1.8 percent to
C$28.94, while major bullion producer Barrick Gold Corp 
lost 0.4 percent to C$40.27 and competitor Goldcorp 
dipped 0.5 percent to C$43.88. 
    The lack of a solid rising trend in commodity prices could
turn away some investors from now on, a fund manager warned.
    "With the direction for commodity prices being less certain,
the index will be less certain. The general trend for both gold
and oil will be higher but will not lead the market," said
Brendan Caldwell, president and chief executive of Caldwell
Investment Management.
    "Unless the U.S. dollar completely collapses and gold and
oil go on an unholy tear, which is possible, I think they'll do
well, but other sectors will outperform and we don't have very
much of it in our index," he added, warning that the TSX may
struggle to keep up with global peers with deeper exposure to
sectors such as technology and consumer discretionary companies.
    Shares in Research In Motion, one of the index's few
technology companies, surged 5.2 percent to C$6.50 after the
struggling BlackBerry maker said its subscriber base has risen
to 80 million from the 78 million it reported earlier this year,
surprising many on Wall Street who were anticipating a dip.
 
    Husky Energy Inc slipped 0.3 percent to C$26.52
after the integrated oil producer and refiner declared it had
reached an impasse with the United Steelworkers union in a
four-month strike at the company's 155,000 barrel-per-day Lima,
Ohio, refinery. 
     Shares in Forbes & Manhattan Coal Corp jumped 3.1
percent to 67 Canadian cents after the coal miner said it plans
to buy two South African mines from a unit of Rio Tinto in a bid
to boost its output and enlarge its footprint in Africa.