Friday, March 6th1.0°C
25407
22952

Toronto stock market closes lower on anxiety about Russia/Ukraine standoff

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed firmly in negative territory Thursday despite some positive earnings, with traders opting for caution while weighing the chances of Russia invading Ukraine.

The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 83.32 points to 15,118.77. The Canadian dollar was off 0.06 of a cent to 91.57 cents US.

U.S. indexes were lower as the Dow Jones industrials declined 75.07 points to 16,368.27, the Nasdaq gave back 20.08 points to 4,334.97 and the S&P 500 index lost 10.67 points to 1,909.57.

Ongoing tensions continued over the crisis in Ukraine amid fresh Russian sanctions on the West. Markets had initially shrugged off the standoff with Ukraine last month but tensions have been growing lately as traders worry about Russia getting more involved in the Ukraine government's fight against pro-Russian rebels.

"It has heightened up, I think it has caused nervousness to the markets for sure, and it’s definitely something that needs to be continually watched," said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Global Investment.

The sanctions war heated up Thursday after Russia banned most food imports from the West in retaliation for their sanctions over Ukraine.

Earlier in the morning, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi cautioned that the crisis in Ukraine could weigh on the fragile economic recovery in the eurozone. He said the fallout from Ukraine was “hard to assess” but that sanctions and countersanctions could increase the impact.

On the earnings front, there was particular interest in the insurance sector where Manulife Financial boosted its quarterly dividend 2.5 cents to 15.5 cents a share. It is the first dividend hike since 2009, when it chopped the payment by half. Core earnings, which exclude extraordinary items, rose to 36 cents a share from 31 cents, four cents below expectations. Like the TSX index, the stock lost early gains and was down 27 cents to $21.70.

The dividend came as a surprise to investors who hadn't expected Manulife to start upping its dividend until next year.

"Dividend increases are a good sign and (as) we look at insurance companies as a whole, the outlook is quite bright," added Adatia.

Elsewhere, Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) says quarterly net income grew to $223 million, or 75 cents per share, compared to a loss of $23 million, or nine cents per share, a year ago. Operating revenues grew to $3.3 billion from $3.06 billion. Its shares fell 76 cents or 8.2 per cent to $8.50.

Canadian Tire Corp. (TSX:CTC.A) posted second-quarter net income of $178.9 million, or $2.12 per share, compared to $154.9 million or $1.91 a year earlier and above the consensus estimate of $2.02. Revenue increased to $3.17 billion from $3.02 billion and shares gained $2.73 to $107.26.

BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) profits grew 6.1 per cent in the second quarter to $606 million, or 78 cents per share. Adjusted earnings grew to 82 cents per share from 77 cents, a cent short of estimates. Operating revenues increased 4.4 per cent to $5.22 billion and its shares dipped 31 cents to $48.57.

Financials were the worst performing group, down 0.8 per cent.

The energy sector was down 0.7 per cent as the September crude contract in New York gained 42 cents to US$97.34. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) fell $1.03 to $44.82 as the company more than doubled its second-quarter net earnings to $1.07 billion

The base metals component fell 1.35 per cent as September copper gained a cent to US$3.18.

The gold sector was up 0.3 per cent as nervous traders sent the contract in New York up $4.30 to US$1,312.50 an ounce.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Canadian Natural's stock fell $1.02, rather than $1.03.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

25194


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15103.11+20.271
S&P CDNX696.92-1.17
DJIA18135.72+38.82
Nasdaq4982.81+15.668
S&P 5002101.04+2.51
CDN Dollar0.7946-0.0065
Gold1184.60-11.30
Oil52.54-0.01
Lumber287.00-3.70
Natural Gas2.817-0.024

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.65+0.10
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.184+0.004
Metalex Ventures0.045+0.005
Russel Metals24.27-0.68
Copper Mountain Mining1.240.00
Colorado Resources0.130.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.0065-0.0015
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.045-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.22-0.005

 



24353

FEATURED Property
22116223420 Lupin Crescent
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$769,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


How to price: Step Four

In 2008 Self Counsel Press published my book - Pricing Strategies for Small Business. The purpose of the book was to make available to the owners of small companies, pricing techniques used by sophist...


Refinance your mortgage?

Canadian Mortgage rates are low and could be dropping down in time for the spring market following a drop in the Bank of Canada Rate on January 21 by 1/4% which will save new buyers and those with mo...


Creating your retirement vision

A vision means different things to different people. To the head of a large corporation, it’s the ability to chart a course that will deliver success (think Steve Jobs and Apple), to a shaman, i...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25413