TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed lower on Wednesday, led by a 12 percent fall in Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO after it released its BlackBerry 10 devices and by broader market weakness after the U.S. Fed decision to leave its stimulus program intact.
RIM played the biggest role of any stock in leading the market lower.
The company unveiled the long-delayed line of smartphones it hopes will put it on the comeback trail on Wednesday but it disappointed investors by saying U.S. sales of its all-new BlackBerry 10 will start in March instead of earlier.
“RIM has been the center of attraction. The stock has had such a big run-up on anticipation, nearly tripling from its lows, that some profit taking was to be expected,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
But many investors agree that the launch has given the company a new lease of life and may help it survive, he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 36.12 points, or 0.28 percent, at 12,794.44. The index earlier in the session hit 12,895.28, its highest since August 2, 2011.
Canadian stocks also slipped following news the U.S. Federal Reserve left in place its monthly $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan, saying economic growth had stalled but indicating the pullback was likely temporary.
The announcement followed data that showed the U.S. economy had unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, suffering its first decline since the recession ended. <MKTS/GLOB>
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the Canadian stock index declined.
The energy sector slipped 0.2 percent despite a rise in oil prices. TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) lost 1.2 percent to C$48.17.
Materials stocks also weakened as Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) slipped 1.3 percent to C$32.47. This was partly offset by a 16.5 percent rise in CCL Industries Inc (CCLb.TO) after its plans to buy Avery Dennison Corp’s (AVY.N) consumer and office supplies unit.
Declines in financials, down 0.2 percent, and industrials, which slipped 0.8 percent, also weighed on the market.
The information technology sector fell 1.4 percent on the RIM stumble.
Editing by Bob Burgdorfer