CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as materials take beating on earnings

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:57am EDT
 
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* TSX down 6.87 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,104.19
    * Weak earnings from Goldcorp, Potash weigh

    By Claire Sibonney	
    TORONTO, April 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's resource-driven
stock index drifted lower o n T hursday as materials shares took a
beating from disappointing earnings in the sector, though strong
energy shares helped stem the losses.	
    Goldcorp, which reported late on Wednesday, plunged
nearly 6 percent to C$38.23. Canada's No.2 gold miner announced
a slim increase in operating profit as its most prolific mine
was hit by operational problems that reduced output and offset
most of the gains from a surge in bullion prices.
 	
    Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the world's largest
fertilizer maker, dropped 3 percent to C$42.36 after reporting a
33 percent profit drop due to lower sales and production, which
in turn led to higher costs. 	
    "The U.S. yesterday had very good earnings news and that
sure helped their market, but today we have bad earnings news on
two of our more prominent stocks," said John Kinsey, portfolio
manager at Caldwell Securities. "That's what's hurt us."	
    Economically sensitive financial shares were down 0.5
percent, succumbing to soft U.S. data, after a trend reading on
new claims for unemployment benefits rose to its highest since
January, the latest sign of a weaker pace of recovery in the
struggling labor market. 	
    Also weighing on broader market confidence, euro zone
economic sentiment fell more than expected in April, driven by
more pessimistic industry and services sectors as the region's
economy sinks into recession. 	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 6.87 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,104.19.	
    On the upside, energy shares climbed 0.6 percent, helped by
a rise in oil and natural gas prices, though the first stream of
earnings in the sector mostly missed expectations.
   	
    Encana Corp surged 6 percent to C$19.41 a day after
reporting a rise in first-quarter profits. It benefited from its
hedging program as gas prices slumped to 10-year lows, while its
price target was upgraded on Thursday. 	
    MEG Energy, a Canadian oil sands developer,
advanced nearly 5 percent to C$40.49 after reporting an 18
percent rise in first-quarter profits on lower costs and higher
price realizations.