TSX Ends Lower On Ukraine, Middle East Concerns -- Canadian Commentary

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks ended lower for a third straight session Tuesday, led by metals, healthcare, and energy stocks amid some disappointing economic data with China's service purchasing managers' index dropping.

Investors appeared wary of going in for any significant buying with upbeat data on U.S. service sector growth and factory orders raising prospects of a Fed rate hike sometime sooner than anticipated earlier.

China's services Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 50.0, from June's 53.1, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics said today.

Sluggish commodity prices and lingering geopolitical worries also contributed to the weakness in the market.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Tuesday at 15,187.71, down 27.55 points or 0.18 percent. The index scaled a intraday high of 15,254.68 and a low of 15,130.82.

On Friday, the index ended lower amid a slew of economic data, including some soft U.S. monthly jobs report, coupled with geopolitical tensions and concerns over the European banking system.

Crude oil ended lower Tuesday, ahead of the official weekly report on U.S. crude oil stockpiles, with increased concerns over developments in Ukraine and the Middle East.

The Energy Index shed 0.68 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for September delivery dropping $0.91 or 0.9 percent to close at $97.38 a barrel Tuesday on the Nymex.

The Healthcare Index plummeted 2.90 percent with Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRX) shedding 6.02 percent. Botox maker Allergan Inc ( AGN ) commented that its financial advisors and forensic accountants analyzed Valeant's reported financial and operating results, identifying numerous inconsistencies and omissions.

Catamaran Corporation (CCT.TO) dropped 2.93 percent, Extendicare Inc (EXE.TO) inched up 0.13 percent.

Energy stock Canadian Oil Sands Ltd (COS.TO) added 0.56 percent after reporting second-quarter net earnings of C$176 million or C$0.36 per share, compared with C$219 million or C$0.45 per share last year.

Mid-streak oil stock Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) added 0.52 percent after reporting second-quarter earnings of C$756 million or C$0.91 per share, up from C$42 million or C$0.05 per share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings was C$328 million or C$0.40 per share for the quarter.

Among other stocks in the energy sector, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) shed 0.60 percent, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) up 0.20 percent, Talisman Energy (TLM.TO) shed 0.18 percent, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) dropped 0.61 percent, and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) gained 0.18 percent.

The Financial Index dipped 0.10 percent with Toronto-Dominion Bank losing 0.51 percent, National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) surrendered 0.31 percent, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) slipped 0.22 percent, Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce (CM.TO) lost 0.36 percent, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) added 0.25 percent, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) up 0.18 percent.

Gold futures ended lower after the dollar trended higher against a band of currencies on some upbeat economic data from the U.S. with factory orders for June and non-manufacturing index for July improving more than expected.

Global Gold Index gained 0.19 percent, with gold futures for December delivery shedding $3.70 or 0.3 percent to close at $1,284.00 an ounce on the Nymex Tuesday.

Among gold stocks, Detour Gold Corp. (DGC.TO) up 0.15 percent, while Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) down 1.16 percent, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) down 0.55 percent, Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) added 0.30 percent, Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) dropped 0.12 percent.

The Capped Materials Index gained 0.16 percent on gold mining stocks, with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) adding 0.63 percent.

The Diversified Metals & Mining Index dived 0.89 percent, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) flat at $25.06 per share, Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) down 1.56 percent and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) dipped 0.04 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index added 0.66 percent, with Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) down 1.58 percent and Air Canada (AC.B.TO) slipped 0.22 percent.

The Capped Telecommunications Index added 0.57 percent, with Telus Corp. (T.TO) up 0.55 percent, BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) up 0.47 percent, Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B.TO) added 0.85 percent and Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MBT.TO) advanced 0.69 percent.

The Information Technology Index shed 0.44 percent, with BlackBerry Limited (BB.TO) up 1.18 percent, Avigilon Corp. (AVO.TO) up 0.12 percent, and Open Text Corp. (OTC.TO) down 1.05 percent.

The Capped Utilities Index gained 0.62 percent with Fortis Inc. (FTS.IR.TO) adding 3.71 percent.

Enghouse Systems Ltd. (ESL.TO) added 3.68 percent after announcing the acquisition of Jinny Software Limited from Italy'sAcotel Group S.p.A. for approximately $19.3 million. The deal is expected to expand Enghouse's mobile telephony solutions.

Saputo Inc. (SAP.TO) gained 2.04 percent after reporting first quarter net earnings of C$145.3 million, up from the previous year' C$136.7 million, with earnings per share improving to C$0.73 from C$0.69 last year.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (RBA.TO) added 1.82 percent after reporting second-quarter earnings of $39.13 million or $0.36 per share, from $30.03 million or $0.28 per share.

Novadaq Technologies Inc. (NDQ.TO) slipped 0.25 percent despite reporting a net income of $6.3 million for the second quarter of 2014, as against net loss of $9.7 million in second quarter of 2013.

Allied Nevada Gold Corp. (ANV.TO) added 1.77 percent after reporting a second quarter profit of $4.4 million or $0.04 per share, almost in line with a net income of $4.2 million or $0.04 per share in the second quarter of 2013.

HSBC Bank Canada (HSB.PR.C.TO) gained 0.28 percent after reporting its profit for the quarter ended 30 June 2014 was C$172 million, an increase of 52.2 percent from the year ago quarter.

In economic news, data from the Commerce Department showed U.S. factory orders to have jumped by a more than expected 1.1 percent in June, following a revised 0.6 percent decrease in May. Economists expected orders to increase by about 0.6 percent compared to the 0.5 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

A report from the Institute of Supply Management showed activity in the U.S. service sector expanded at a notably faster rate in July, with the non-manufacturing index climbing to 58.7, the highest reading since its inception in January 2008. Economists expected the index to edge up to a reading of 56.5.

From Europe, U.K. services activity growth strengthened to an eight-month high in July indicating that the dominant sector is set to boost economic growth again in the third quarter and raises possibilities that the Bank of England will bring forward its first interest rate hike into late 2014. The headline Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 59.1 in July, an eight-month high, from 57.7 in June, survey data revealed Tuesday.

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Referenced Stocks: ABX , AGN , ANV , BCE , BMO

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