TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index fell for the first time in seven sessions on Friday as a 2 percent drop in bullion and crude prices spurred a retreat in mining and energy stocks, with miner Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) leading the way.
Spot gold hit a two-month low, sliding 2 percent to below $1,690 and marking its fourth consecutive weekly decline, after a report showed a higher-than-expected number of U.S. jobs were created in October.
The U.S. data lowered expectations for more economic stimulus from global central banks.
“That helped the U.S. dollar strengthen and that affected the commodity prices,” said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities.
A strong dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S. dollars more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Oil and gasoline futures fell more than 2 percent on Friday after Washington issued a waiver allowing foreign tankers to bring fuel to the U.S. Northeast, pointing to some relief to supply disruptions in the aftermath of super storm Sandy. <O/R>
Five of the top six biggest drags on the TSX index were gold miners, which are a part of the index’s materials group. The group encompasses nearly 20 percent of the index’s weight and finished down 3.02 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), which had already plunged 9.48 percent on Thursday after posting a sharp decline in third-quarter profit, added to those losses, falling another 3.64 percent to finish at C$35.23.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 119.35 points, or 0.95 percent, at C$12,380.41. The index was still up 0.58 percent on the week.
Among the index’s key sectors, only the heavily weighted financials group and the utilities sector were higher.
“We have to remember the TSX index has been up six days in a row, which is somewhat surprising especially when we’ve had a few earnings misses from some large cap names,” said Gareth Watson, vice president, investment management & research at Richardson GMP.
Analysts said that the market could remain in negative territory amid the uncertainty ahead of the U.S. presidential election next Tuesday.
Energy stocks comprise about 25 percent of the index and they gave back 1.47 percent. Cenovus Energy was down 3.18 percent at C$34.45, while Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) was off 3.79 percent to C$39.86.
Modest gains among financial stocks - accounting for about a third of the index - helped stem some of the losses. Toronto- Dominion Bank (TD.TO) provided the biggest boost to the index, climbing 0.69 percent to C$82.29. It was followed by Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO), which advanced 1.62 percent to C$12.56. The overall group was up 0.23 percent.
Among gainers, Inmet Mining Corp IMN.TO, which reported a 19 percent rise in third-quarter profit helped by higher copper sales volume from its Spanish Las Cruces mine, surged 6.77 percent to C$56.17.
SNC Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO) jumped 4.79 percent to C$42.17 after the construction and engineering firm reported a narrower-than-expected 8 percent decline in third-quarter profit.
TransGlobe Energy Corp (TGL.TO) shares soared 10.14 percent to finish at 12.06. The company had climbed as much as 14 percent earlier in the day after it won four of the 15 blocks on offer in an onshore licensing round in Egypt, according to a newspaper report.
Shares of Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) were down 1.30 percent at C$28.06 after the company reported a 15 percent fall in operating profit due to declining revenue and higher costs at the division that serves the financial industry.
Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) was down was down 2.13 percent at C$3.68. About 330 workers at a Quebec rail-car factory belonging to the train-maker went on strike on Thursday over outsourcing and pension fund issues.
Editing by Peter Galloway