CANADA STOCKS-Energy stocks weigh on TSX; oil driller's shares slump
By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, April 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Friday, with energy companies leading the decline as driller Canadian Oil Sands said unexpected maintenance could hurt its output. The oil driller's shares fell 5.3 percent to C$22.86 after reporting it cut its projected annual output owing to the upkeep. It said it would also revise overall 2014 guidance at the end of the month. "The fact is it goes with the territory with this stock. People shouldn't get too excited about it," said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp. Canadian Natural Resources also slipped, down 1.2 percent at C$44.46. Graham said many of Canada's biggest resource stocks had appreciated significantly - the sub-index was up 20 percent since the start of February - and that some profit-taking was inevitable. Global oil prices fell from recent highs but escalating tension between major oil producer Russia and the West over Ukraine served to heighten fears of supply disruption that put a floor under declines. "Political uncertainty is not good for stock markets in general in the short term," Graham said. "Longer term however it might actually be good news for Canada because it's got a lot of the same materials and commodities that Russia has and it's a reliable supplier." Elsewhere, business software company OpenText Corp helped cap the market's overall losses, jumping 6.6 percent to C$54.15 after reporting a solid quarterly profit and upping its dividend. Barrick Gold Corp and Goldcorp Inc bounced off Thursday's dips as the price of bullion recovered, with Barrick up 1.6 percent at C$19.56 and Goldcorp rising 0.6 percent to C$27.24. Barrick's founder and outgoing chairman, Peter Munk, criticized potential takeover target Newmont Mining in an interview with the National Post newspaper, saying the U.S. miner is "not shareholder-friendly." Talks between the pair broke down last week, but sources familiar with the matter said some talks between lower-level representatives have since resumed. By mid-morning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 52.66 points, or 0.37 percent, at 14,500.59. It is on track for a flat week. (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W Simon)
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