By Sarah Pringle, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks weakened Wednesday as investor spirits waned ahead of a closely watched economic report due out from China.
The S&P/TSX /zigman2/quotes/210598478/delayed CA:GSPTSE +0.04% composite index stumbled 82.41 points, or 0.7%, to settle at 11,781.09. Pressuring the index was a 0.8% retreat among financial equities /zigman2/quotes/210598468/delayed XX:TORGC189 -0.55% and 0.9% drop by the materials sector /zigman2/quotes/210598474/delayed XX:TORGC195 +0.18% .
“Pending overnight data from China is obviously a concern, particularly for resources, and some observers may also be a bit less certain than they were a day or two ago that central bankers are ready [or] able to ride to the rescue,” said Peter Buchanan, senior economist at CIBC World Markets.
Lackluster U.S. inventory numbers hit sentiment as well, as “investors seem to be focusing on soft implied demand, rather large inventory draws,” Buchanan said.
Top percentage losers among financial stocks included a 3% fall in shares of Manulife Financial Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208833709/delayed CA:MFC -0.12% and 1% decline in shares of Bank of Montreal /zigman2/quotes/203180563/delayed CA:BMO -0.63%
/zigman2/quotes/203180563/delayed CA:BMO -0.63% Energy producers and gold miners saw widespread losses, with Iamgold Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206182143/delayed CA:IMG +3.02% sliding 3.9%, Eldorado Gold Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207321207/delayed CA:ELD +1.00% shaving off 3.2%, and Suncor Energy /zigman2/quotes/204570600/delayed CA:SU +0.71% down 1.6%.
Oil for September delivery snapped a three-day winning streak, falling 32 cents to end at $93.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Read more on oil.
Still, a 0.6% rise in the information technology sector /zigman2/quotes/210598463/delayed XX:TORGC194 +1.08% helped limit losses.
Hulbert: Watch out for a correction
Odds of a U.S. stock market correction are now quite elevated, as Mark Hulbert reports on Markets Hub. Photo: Getty Images
Shares of Research In Motion surged 3.3%, after Peter Misek, senior tech analyst at Jefferies, discussed on CNBC speculation of a merger between he BlackBerry maker and Samsung.
“This rally could fizzle though if nothing comes to fruition out of these rumors,” Colin Cieszynski, an analyst at CMC Markets, wrote in a research note.
Other tech companies faring well were Celestica Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204449387/delayed CA:CLS -0.34% , adding 2.4% and Descartes Systems Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200154067/delayed CA:DSG +1.30% rose 1.5%.
The telecom sector /zigman2/quotes/210598493/delayed XX:TORGC198 +0.32% also inched higher. BCE Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208173581/delayed CA:BCE +0.50% , the nation’s largest telecom company, rose 2.4% after posting strong second-quarter results and raising its annual earnings forecast and dividend payout. Shares of Sierra Wireless Inc. added 3.3%.
On the corporate front, shares of Silver Wheaton Corp. rallied 3.7% after announcing a $750 million deal to buy from HudBay Minerals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208987353/delayed CA:HBM -1.56% /zigman2/quotes/201019270/composite HBM -1.89% silver production from its Canadian flagship mine and its Constancia Project in southern Peru.
Class B shares of Air Canada stumbled 7.8% after it reported it had more than doubled its second-quarter loss, from a year ago.
Climbing a little, the Canadian dollar remained near parity against the greenback /zigman2/quotes/210561978/realtime/sampled USDCAD -0.0074% , with one U.S. dollar quoted at C$0.9944 vs. C$0.9969 Tuesday.