CANADA STOCKS-TSX shrugs off election, but RIM dents gains

Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:27pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

   * TSX ends up 10.02 points, or 0.07 pct, at 14,039.39
 * Seven of 10 main sectors higher
 * RIM shares fall more than 10 percent
 (Adds details, quotes)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
shrugged off the fall of Canada's Conservative government on
Friday and nudged higher as stronger resource shares offset a
plunge by Research In Motion RIM.TO.
 RIM tumbled more than 10 percent to C$55.78 after the
BlackBerry maker warned that heavy spending on its PlayBook
tablet launch would drag on earnings.  [ID:nN25234112]
 "It shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody. One only has
to look at how much competition is now out there and how
popular the non-RIM products are," said Barry Schwartz,
portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
 "The (Apple AAPL.O) iPhone and the (Google GOOG.O)
Android are just phenomenally popular and it doesn't take a lot
of research to figure out that market share for RIM is going to
be forever impacted, unless they come out with fantastic new
products to catch up."
 Schwartz said the political drama in Ottawa on Friday had
no impact on money managers' near-term views.
 "There is no impact whatsoever on anybody's thinking here.
It's a complete sideshow and waste of time."
 Opposition parties brought down the minority Conservative
government in a nonconfidence vote, setting the scene for an
early May election that polls indicate the Conservatives will
likely win. [ID:nN25229687]
 "The market is really anticipating the status quo," said
Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management
in Vancouver.
 Zohny said the only real surprise would be a Liberal-New
Democratic Party coalition government after the election. "That
would definitely be negative on the energy sector," he added,
noting possible changes in regulation and taxation.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 10.02 points, or 0.07 percent, at 14,039.39
after rallying as high as 14,130.41 earlier in the session.
 Seven of the index's 10 main sectors were stronger.
Heavyweight miners however declined, tracking gold and base
metal prices lower. [GOL] [MET/L] The index ended the week 1.8
percent higher.
 The energy sector was the lead gainer on Friday, up 0.8
percent, despite a dip by oil, as prices remained above $105 a
barrel and bargain hunters rushed in to buy beaten-down shares
following a recent decline.
 Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 0.9 percent to C$44.12 and
Cenovus Energy CVE.TO advanced 2 percent to C$37.69
 Fertilizer producers helped lift the materials sector,
which rose 0.3 percent. Potash Corp POT.TO jumped nearly 3
percent to C$56.12 after Chicago Board of Trade corn futures
rose on news of a large sale of U.S. corn that was likely bound
for China. Agrium Inc AGU.TO also rose, climbing 0.9 percent
to C$87.77.
 Zohny said investors likely cut risks as the weekend neared
due to continued worries over euro zone sovereign debt and
Middle East turmoil, as well as the nuclear crisis in Japan.
 "The market is really kind of positioning ahead of next
month's earnings season," he added.
 "I think there's a greater degree of uncertainty in the
market now with regard to commodity prices' effect on earnings,
as well as some geopolitical concerns, so uncertainty may cap
the rally in the near term but longer term it seems like
fundamentals will continue to improve."
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)