CANADA STOCKS-TSX pushed lower by drag on Barrick Gold

Fri Nov 1, 2013 11:50am EDT
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* TSX up 12.21 points, or 0.09 percent, at 13,373.84
    * On track for a 0.2 pct slip on week after three weeks of
big gains
    * Barrick again weighs after announcing planned stock sale

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped
on Friday with shares in the world's largest gold miner, Barrick
Gold Corp, tumbling after the company said it would use
a stock sale to raise cash. 
    While banks and industrial stocks gained, Barrick's 7
percent fall to C$18.85 and smaller declines from a string of
other gold miners put the index on track for a small weekly
decline after three weeks of moves higher.
    Barrick plans to issue more than $3 billion in stock to help
pay down debt. The company's stock fell almost 6 percent on
Thursday after saying it would stop development of its
Pascua-Lama mine in South America indefinitely, a surprise
reversal on a project that has already cost Barrick more than $5
    Goldcorp lost 4.8 percent to C$25.29. The price of bullion
was at a two-week low. 
    The index had risen sharply in October, outperforming U.S.
indices after lagging behind its southern neighbor in recent
years because of the poor performance of resource-based
companies that make up a large chunk of the Canadian exchange.
    Signs of global economic recovery should boost Canada's
mining and energy companies, while investors have been
emboldened by the U.S. and Canadian central banks both
suggesting that supportive monetary policy will remain in place
for longer. 
    Domestic and Chinese manufacturing data both showed growth
in October, helping boost industrial stocks.
    Canadian National Railways Co gained 1.8 percent to
C$116.49, a day after it reached a tentative labor contract with
a union after weeks of negotiations. 
    The pace of growth in Canadian factories hit its strongest
level in two and a half years, while China's numbers backed the
country's aim of sustainable growth. 
    "In theory, if we are seeing greater stability out of China
we should see more stable demand for commodities and perhaps a
slight pick up in commodity prices," said Philip Petursson from
the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.
    But he said a growing supply of copper and Canadian miners'
focus on lowering costs could limit any climb in stocks.
    Construction and engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc
 gained 1.2 percent to C$44.34 despite reporting a
quarterly loss as cost overruns hurt. The company had slashed
its 2013 outlook in mid-October. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 12.21 points, or 0.09 percent, at 13,373.84  by
mid-morning. It is on track for a 0.2 percent slip for the week,
though it is just off its highest levels in more than two years.
    Banks were among the most influential gainers, with Royal
Bank of Canada up 1 percent at C$70.77 and
Toronto-Dominion Bank gaining 0.9 percent to C$96.44. 
    Manulife's Petursson said all-time highs reached by bank
stocks made them appear expensive, given the amount of debt
Canadians are looking to pay down. 
    "It's difficult to justify their valuation, especially in
light of the consumer debt situation, which could be a bit of a
drag for the banks going forward," he said.