CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops on weak resource shares, BlackBerry doubts

Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:09pm EDT
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* TSX falls 53.54 points, or 0.43 percent, to 12,481.37
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
    * BlackBerry loses 7.4 percent

 (Recasts with analyst's comments, details)
    By Cameron French
    TORONTO, April 11 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as energy and
mining stocks were hurt by declining prices and weak investor
sentiment, while BlackBerry plunged on doubts about the
company's recovery plan.
    BlackBerry ended the session down 7.4 percent at C$13.82,
making it easily the weakest performer on the S&P/TSX composite
index as analysts called into question whether the
company's new BlackBerry 10 smartphones can return it to
long-term profitability. 
    But the main weight on the index came from the energy and
mining sectors, down 0.68 percent and 0.97 percent respectively.
    Both segments have been volatile this year and mining issues
have been in near-steady decline, adding to the TSX's
underperformance versus comparable U.S. indexes.
    "Despite the vastly improved valuations from a year ago,
investors are still not biting. There's no rush to get into the
sectors here, materials and energy," said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver.
    Gold stocks led the mining group lower as prices for the
yellow metal weakened early in the session. Kinross Gold 
dropped 3.2 percent to C$6.88, while copper miner First Quantum
Minerals slid 1.8 percent to C$18.88.
    Barrick Gold gained 0.8 percent to C$25.00, but
that followed an 8.7 percent drop on Wednesday after a Chilean
court ordered the company to suspend construction of its massive
Pascua-Lama project.
    Weak commodity prices also hit the energy group as oil
weakened after several organizations cut their global demand
outlook for the commodity. Husky Energy slid 1.8
percent to C$29.38, while sector heavyweight Suncor Energy
 retreated 1.5 percent to C$29.68.
    All told, the TSX index fell 53.54 points, or 0.43 percent,
to 12,481.37, with seven of the 10 TSX subgroups ending the
session lower.
    Coming into the session, the index had risen for three
straight sessions, and it is still up more than 1 percent on the
week. But that follows a sharp 3.3 percent drop last week that
has the index barely above break-even on the year.
    Meanwhile, U.S. indexes such as the S&P 500 have been
in a near-steady rally since last November.
    Picardo said the TSX may be running out of time to get its
momentum back as the index tends trade sideways during the
summer months, a phenomena traders often refer to as "sell in
May and go away".
    "Typically heading into late spring and early summer it's
not the best time for the markets," he said.
    "I think a lot hinges on what happens with the upcoming
earnings season. The earnings bar has been lowered for the TSX
    The financial services group eased 0.39 percent, led by life
insurer Manulife Financial, which fell 1.6 percent to
C$14.42, and Bank of Nova Scotia, which declined 0.8
percent to C$57.90.
    ($1=$1.01 Canadian)

 (Reporting By Cameron French; and Peter Galloway)