CANADA STOCKS-BlackBerry, telecoms drag TSX lower

Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:33pm EDT
 
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* TSX falls 12.18 points, or 0.09 percent, to 12,836.71
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
    * BlackBerry shares drop as investors doubt deal financing

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Wednesday as telecoms and BlackBerry led the declines
amid investor skepticism about whether a takeover offer for the
smartphone maker earlier this week would succeed. 
    But gold-mining shares bucked the wider trend offsetting
some of the index's declines.
    Investor concerns about budget talks in Washington and a
potential government shutdown also hurt share prices. The U.S.
is Canada's biggest trading partner.
    The Canadian and U.S. markets would like to see a
longer-term resolution to the U.S. budget and debt negotiations
this time, unlike on previous occasions, said Marcus Xu,
portfolio manager at MY Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.
    "The market is pretty confused. Nobody knows what to do," he
added. "If anything, people want to be conservative and not take
too much risk."
    Separately, the market digested data showing orders for
long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods barely grew in August, as
well as a report indicating sales of new single-family homes in
America rose in August but held near their lowest levels this
year. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 12.18 points, or 0.09 percent, at
12,836.71. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index ended in
the red.
    But the materials sector, which includes mining stocks,
added 1.4 percent, helped by gains in gold producers. With the
price of bullion rising 1.3 percent, gold miners jumped 2.2
percent. 
    "Today it's all about precious metals," Xu said. "They tend
to rally when there's a lot of uncertainty."
    Goldcorp Inc climbed 1.7 percent to C$26.84, and Teck
Resources Ltd jumped 1.4 percent to C$28.58.
    Shares of telecoms providers declined 0.9 percent. Telus
Corp gave back 2.2 percent to C$34.78, and BCE Inc
 fell 1 percent to C$44.13.
    The industrials sector shed 0.7 percent. Canadian National
Railway Co dropped 1.3 percent to C$102.77.
    BlackBerry slipped nearly 6 percent to C$8.26 after a Globe
and Mail report said Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd was
seeking more than $1 billion in equity investments from
institutional investors to back its preliminary $4.7 billion
plan to acquire the smartphone maker.
    The report cited unnamed sources saying that as of Tuesday
only one pension fund, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, was
seriously considering joining a takeover consortium. Teachers
declined to comment on the report.
    But Fairfax Chief Executive Prem Watsa told Reuters in an
interview he is confident the consortium he leads can find the
money needed to fund the $4.7 billion bid.