By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, April 25 Canada's main stock index
slipped on Friday, with energy companies leading the decline as
driller Canadian Oil Sands said unexpected maintenance
could hurt its output.
The oil driller's shares fell 5.3 percent to C$22.86 after
reporting it cut its projected annual output owing to the
upkeep. It said it would also revise overall 2014 guidance at
the end of the month.
"The fact is it goes with the territory with this stock.
People shouldn't get too excited about it," said Gavin Graham,
chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp.
Canadian Natural Resources also slipped, down 1.2
percent at C$44.46.
Graham said many of Canada's biggest resource stocks had
appreciated significantly - the sub-index was up 20
percent since the start of February - and that some
profit-taking was inevitable.
Global oil prices fell from recent highs but escalating
tension between major oil producer Russia and the West over
Ukraine served to heighten fears of supply disruption that put a
floor under declines.
"Political uncertainty is not good for stock markets in
general in the short term," Graham said. "Longer term however it
might actually be good news for Canada because it's got a lot of
the same materials and commodities that Russia has and it's a
Elsewhere, business software company OpenText Corp
helped cap the market's overall losses, jumping 6.6 percent to
C$54.15 after reporting a solid quarterly profit and upping its
Barrick Gold Corp and Goldcorp Inc bounced
off Thursday's dips as the price of bullion recovered, with
Barrick up 1.6 percent at C$19.56 and Goldcorp rising 0.6
percent to C$27.24.
Barrick's founder and outgoing chairman, Peter Munk,
criticized potential takeover target Newmont Mining in
an interview with the National Post newspaper, saying the U.S.
miner is "not shareholder-friendly."
Talks between the pair broke down last week, but sources
familiar with the matter said some talks between lower-level
representatives have since resumed.
By mid-morning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was down 52.66 points, or 0.37
percent, at 14,500.59. It is on track for a flat week.
(Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
and W Simon)