CANADA STOCKS-TSX's 6-day streak of rises ends as oils slide

Wed Jul 6, 2011 4:50pm EDT
 
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 * TSX slides 0.17 pct to finish at 13,403.10
 * Five of 10 sectors fall, led by 1.1 pct drop in energy
 * Sino-Forest drops as company cancels tour of its assets
 (Adds details)
 TORONTO, July 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended a six-day streak of gains on Wednesday as an interest
rate hike in China and Europe's debt woes pushed oil and gas
shares sharply lower.
 The Chinese rate hike, the third this year, pushed down oil
and other commodity prices on fears of reduced demand and that
weighed heavily on Toronto's energy sector. [O/R]
 Influential index decliners were led by Cenovus Energy
CVE.TO, down 2.6 percent at C$35.55, while Canadian Natural
Resources CNQ.TO dropped more than 0.9 percent to C$41.13.
 The decline in oil and gas shares was offset by a flight to
safe-haven gold and to gold and silver mining shares, spurred
by ongoing concern about the euro zone debt crisis after
Portugal's credit rating was downgraded. [GOL/]
 "If you're in golds, you're pretty happy with the way
things are going. It's a spillover from the Portugal
downgrade," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant
Securities.
 Top advancers were mostly precious metal miners, led by
Silver Wheaton SLW.TO, up 5.5 percent at C$35.02, while
Barrick Gold ABX.TO followed with a 0.84 percent rise to
C$44.64.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE fell 22.20 points, or 0.17 percent, to finish at
13,403.10. Half of the index's 10 main groups slid, led down by
a 1.1 percent drop in the energy sector.
 Market sentiment, already fragile after the Portugal
downgrade, was further pressured by softer-than-expected U.S.
data. The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector dipped
modestly in June, while prices paid fell to the lowest level
since August 2010. [ID:nN1E7650GW]
 The Institute for Supply Management said its services index
fell to 53.3 last month from 54.6 in May. The reading fell shy
of economists' forecasts for 54.0, according to a Reuters
survey.
 The most influential data this week will come on Friday
with jobs reports for June from the United States and Canada on
tap.
 In individual company news, shares of embattled Chinese
forestry company Sino-Forest TRE.TO dropped more than 20
percent early in the session, but halved those losses by
session's end. [ID:nN1E76502A]
 The stock dropped after Sino-Forest said it is postponing a
tour of its forestry assets because many analysts have halted
coverage of the company. Sino-Forest ended down 10.2 percent at
C$4.75
 The value of Sino-Forest shares and bonds collapsed last
month after short-seller Muddy Waters accused the company of
fraudulently exaggerating the size of its forest assets.
 "If you look at the metrics, possibly there's some value
there," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio
manager at Baskin Financial Services. "If they have these
trees, and they have this cash minus the debt, it's worth more
than four or five dollars a share, no question.
 "But if the Muddy Waters allegations are correct, then you
shouldnt be touching the stock."
 Churchill Corp CUQ.TO surged more than 8 percent to end
at C$18.30 after the building and construction company said it
has won more than C$500 million worth of work in Western
Canada. [ID:nN1E7650NO]
 ($1=$0.97 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)