TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as a stronger U.S. dollar pressured gold prices and energy companies scrambled to protect pipelines.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.5 percent as gold prices fell and copper prices hit a one-month low. [GOL/][MET/L]
Barrick Gold Corp fell 2.6 percent to C$20.60, while Goldcorp Inc declined nearly 3 percent to C$18.81 and Kinross Gold Corp was down 4.4 percent at C$4.74.
Spot gold fell 0.4 percent as the U.S. dollar rose after strong U.S. retail sales and producer prices data for September reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in December.
Losses for gold stocks also reflect profit taking after the sector’s big rally earlier this year, said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp.
A global gold index heavily populated by Canadian miners dropped 2.8 percent. It rose steadily this year until August, but has faltered since.
Energy stocks declined 0.6 percent as oil fell.
U.S. crude prices settled 9 cents lower at $50.35 a barrel, pressured by a stronger dollar and another increase in the U.S. oil rig count. [O/R]
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell 1.4 percent to C$42.23 and energy infrastructure company TransCanada Corp declined nearly 1 percent to C$60.52.
Canadian energy companies and officials share intelligence, scour social media and send up surveillance drones but even so they say preventing a disruption to the country’s vast pipeline network is near impossible and each side wants the other to do more.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 58.72 points, or 0.4 percent, at 14,584.99.
Seven of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.
Still, the index edged 0.1 percent higher for the week.
“As long as you are constructive on the energy and materials sector, the TSX is going to continue to display strength and maybe the next move you will see will be a move to the upside,” Graham said.
Teck Resources Ltd rebounded 3.1 percent to C$24.66 after falling on Thursday on weak Chinese data.
But on Friday China reported an unexpected rise in September producer prices for the first time in nearly five years. Consumer inflation also beat expectations, easing some concerns about the health of the world’s second-biggest economy.
The utilities group rose 0.9 percent, led by a 2.4 percent advance in the shares of Fortis Inc to C$41.95.
Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Richard Chang