CANADA STOCKS-TSX retreats as Wells Fargo, resources weigh

Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:37am EST

* TSX falls 48.13 points, or 0.38 percent, to 12,551.61
    * Materials off 0.7 percent, financials down 0.36 percent

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
retreated on Friday after a disappointing quarterly report from
Wells Fargo, the first major U.S. bank to post earnings, and a
fall in mining stocks on softer commodity prices.
    Wells Fargo reported a record fourth-quarter profit but net
interest margin declined and the bank made fewer mortgage loans
than in the previous quarter. 
    "I think probably the biggest highlight is the Wells Fargo,
with their profit margins not being as strong as everyone was
hoping. That put everybody in sort of a neutral mode," said Mike
Newton, associate director and portfolio manager at Macquarie
Private Wealth Inc.
    Newton said that U.S. earnings always impacts Canadian
stocks and added that a chief technical analyst with SAC Capital
Advisors saying the benchmark S&P 500 index has "topped out."
    "People pay a lot of attention to some of these indicators
and that was a bit of a negative," he said.
    The TSX's own heavily weighted financial group was down 0.36
percent, led by the Toronto Dominion Bank's 0.62 percent
fall to C$18.56. Bank of Nova Scotia was also among the
top five most influential stock weighing on the index, giving
back 0.46 percent to C$57.35.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 fell 48.13 points, or 0.38 percent, to 12,551.61. Six
of the index's 10 main sectors were in negative territory.
    "The markets have come out of the gates pretty good this
year and I think investors are having a really hard time
identifying where the new leadership is going to come from,"
said Newton.
    "I don't see anything starting to emerge as a strong trend
yet. I don't want to get too optimistic."
    Copper prices eased from a one-week high amid uncertainty
about the demand outlook for industrial metals. Diversified
mining firm Teck Resources Ltd was the biggest drag,
retreating 2.49 percent to C$36.79. The overall materials group,
home to mining firms, was down 0.7 percent. 
    Gold miners tracked bullion prices that fell following its
biggest one-day rise this year. Barrick Gold Corp pared
earlier losses and was trading down 0.68 percent to C$33.72 mid
morning. 
    Energy stocks were also off 0.44 percent, with Suncor Energy
off 0.54 percent to C$33.40. Oil prices eased on growing concern
that demand for the commodity could be softening amid a
lackluster global economic environment. 
    A Bank of Montreal downgrade to "underperform" of Blackberry
maker Research In Motion Ltd failed to worry investors,
with shares up 0.76 percent to C$11.88 after edging lower
earlier in the session.
    "What's really interesting about that downgrade is that RIM
is holding up not too badly," said Newton.
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