Canadian stocks fell, snapping a three-day rally, as commodity producers slumped and BlackBerry plunged on a report of sluggish sales of its new phones.
Suncor Energy Inc. and Cenovus Energy Inc. dropped more than 1.8 percent after oil slid for the first time in four days. Banro Corp. fell to its lowest level in more than four years. BlackBerry tumbled 8.5 percent after a research firm said U.S. sales of the company’s Z10 smartphone “started poorly.” Corus Entertainment (CJR/B) Inc., a Toronto-based media company, dropped 4 percent after reporting disappointing results.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) fell 53.54 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,481.37 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge is up 1.2 percent this week, erasing a loss for the year. Trading volume was 19 percent below the 30-day average.
“The market is telling us crude isn’t staying at these levels,” Kash Pashootan, a fund manager with First Avenue Advisory of Raymond James Ltd., said from Ottawa. His firm oversees about C$125 million ($124 million). “There just isn’t the same enthusiasm for the Canadian market that there is for the U.S. market.”
U.S. stocks extended its rally to a fourth day as retailers gained after reporting improving sales and jobless claims dropped more than forecast. The S&P 500 has surged 12 percent this year. The S&P/TSX is up 0.4 percent for 2013.
Oil for May delivery fell 1.2 percent to settle at $93.51 a barrel in New York as the International Energy Agency lowered its forecasts for demand while U.S. inventories climbed to a 22- year high. Crude is Canada’s biggest export.
Suncor Energy, the nation’s largest oil producer, declined 2.9 percent to C$29.25 and Cenovus Energy fell 1.8 percent to C$30.94.
Banro, a gold miner, fell 4.3 percent to C$1.35, its lowest since March 2009. Spot prices for gold have declined 6.8 percent in 2013, on track to snap a 12-year streak of gains.
Financial stocks fell, losing 0.3 percent as a group. Bank of Nova Scotia dropped 0.8 percent to C$57.90. Manulife Financial Corp. declined 1.6 percent to C$14.42 after the nation’s biggest insurer jumped the most in two months yesterday following an agreement to pay the second-highest price on record for a whole Hong Kong office tower.
Eight of 10 groups in the S&P/TSX fell, led by a 2.1 percent drop in technology shares.
BlackBerry (BB), formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., slumped 8.5 percent, the biggest drop in the benchmark index, to C$13.66. Joseph Fersedi, an analyst with ITG Investment Research, said in a note today U.S. sales of the Z10 smartphone started poorly and “weakened significantly as the days passed” citing information from independent dealers.
Another research firm, Detwiler Fenton & Co., said customers are returning their Z10s because they find the interface unintuitive. BlackBerry has pinned turnaround hopes on the new phones, which it began selling in the U.S. in March.
Corus Entertainment plunged 4 percent to C$24.60, headed for its lowest close in almost three months. The Toronto-based company’s second-quarter adjusted earnings of 29 Canadian cents a share fell short of the 36 cents forecast by analysts.
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