(Add portfolio manager quotes, details throughout; updates
* TSX dips 3.54 points, or 0.02 percent, to 15,316.02
* Five of the TSX’s 10 main groups fall
* Materials and energy groups fall 0.6 percent
* Valeant Pharmaceuticals up 8.0 percent
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, June 26 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index edged
lower on Monday in cautious trading ahead of the end of the
second quarter, as declines in the heavyweight resource and
financial groups offset gains for consumer-related shares.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
fell 3.54 points, or 0.02 percent, to 15,316.02.
Trading volume was its lowest in three weeks.
“No one is going to stick their neck out given that it is
quarter-end coming up on Friday,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio
manager at ABC Funds.
“People are a little nervous; little bit of concern out of
the (United) States with regard to a flattening yield curve.”
The spread between the U.S. two-year and 10-year yield has
narrowed to 80 basis points, nearly its smallest gap since
September. A flat yield curve could indicate that some investors
see a recession ahead.
Gold miners were among the most influential decliners on the
index as gold prices sank to near six-week lows. Agnico Eagle
Mines Ltd slumped 1.3 percent to C$62.58, while
Goldcorp Inc fell 1.2 percent to C$18.07.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.6 percent, while gold
futures fell 1.0 percent to $1,244.3 an ounce.
The energy group gave back 0.6 percent after rallying on
Friday. Suncor Energy Inc fell 1.2 percent to C$38.07
even as oil prices held above last week’s seven-month lows.
U.S. crude oil futures settled 37 cents higher at $43.38 a
Financial stocks, which make up roughly a third of the
index’s weight, also fell, slipping 0.2 percent as some of the
country’s top banks lost ground.
Of the index’s 10 main groups five ended higher, including
the consumer discretionary group, which rose 0.8 percent and the
consumer staples group, which rose nearly 1 percent.
Shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc rose 3.6
percent to C$63.62. The company has won U.S. antitrust approval
to buy rival CST Brands Inc on condition that it sell up
to 71 gas stations in eight states, the Federal Trade Commission
Healthcare rallied 2.4 percent, with Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc surging 8.0 percent to C$22.61, and
reaching its highest since Jan. 10. Shares had jumped last week
after billionaire investor John Paulson joined the company’s
BlackBerry Ltd rebounded 5.7 percent to C$13.59
after sharp losses on Friday following disappointing quarterly
(Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Meredith
Mazzilli and Tom Brown)