Canadian equities fell on Monday as Canadian Oil Sands reported a drop in second-quarter profit and as investors awaited possible action by central banks this week.
The S&P/TSX Composite index fell 13.84 points to close at 11,752.52
The Canadian dollar added 0.25 cents to 99.81 cents U.S.
Notable movers among commodity companies included a 4.7% decline in shares of Eastern Platinum Ltd. to 20.5 cents, a 2.8% fall to $1.71 in shares of North American Palladium and a 3.1% retreat in shares of Ivanhoe Mines to $8.51
In corporate news, shares of Calgary-based Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. slipped 1.3% to $20.72 after the company reported a 71% lower second-quarter profit Friday.
The oil-sands company cited a weaker Canadian dollar as well as higher expenses and lower production volumes due to maintenance at its Coker 8-3 and Vacuum Distillation Unit.
Montreal-based Fibrek Inc., producer of kraft pulps, said late Friday that due to repairs it was stopping operations at its market pulp mill in Saint-Félicien for about a week, beginning Sunday. Its shares were unchanged Monday at 78 cents.
Looking ahead, markets await the release of growth numbers for May later this week.
One economist said experts estimate that growth domestic product rose by 2% in May, with risks on the downside.
The TSX Venture Exchange faltered 6.76 points to 1,184.37. The Nasdaq Canada index faded 1.04 points to 337.26.
All but three of the 14 Toronto subgroups lost territory by midday. Information technology issues fell short 1.3%, while metals and mining doffed 1.1% and consumer discretionaries dropped 0.8%.
The two gainers were gold, up 0.5% and telecoms, ahead 0.3%. Health-care stocks were flat.
The three gainers were gold, up 0.7%, telecoms, ahead 0.3%, and consumer staples, ahead 0.1%. Real-estate issues were unchanged by noon.
Investors were unwilling to make any big bets Monday, as they sat back and waited to see if there will be further stimulus announced by U.S. and European central bankers later this week.
The Dow Jones industrial average sank 2.65 points, to conclude Monday at 13,073.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.79 points to 1,385.18. The Nasdaq docked 12.25 points to 2,945.84.
While the central bank meetings will be the forefront, investors will also be digesting earnings results that have come out over the past couple of weeks, and those due in the week ahead.
Nearly 60% of the companies in the S&P 500 have already reported, and results have been lackluster. Excluding the financials sector, second quarter earnings are expected to decline 0.4%, according to Thompson Reuters, marking the end to a 10-quarter winning streak.
Shares of Sprint Nextel Corp rose more 3% on Monday, continuing their recent surge, helped by stronger revenue and an increase in subscribership. The stock is up over 80% this year, despite the fact that the company is still losing money.
HSBC said it put aside about $2 billion U.S. to compensate U.K. customers for the inappropriate selling of payment-protection insurance, and to pay costs in the U.S. related to accusations it failed to prevent billions of dollars worth of money transfers linked to drug cartels and terrorist groups.
Apple and Samsung begin their patent battle in court Monday. Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last year alleging that the company's smartphones and tablets are knockoffs of its iPhone and iPad, and an infringement on its patents. Apple is seeking $2.5 billion U.S. in damages.
Expectations are high for the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to announce new measures to boost the economy when they meet later this week. The Fed's two-day meeting culminates in an announcement on monetary policy Wednesday.
Once the Fed wraps up, the E.C.B. will take centre stage, with its Governing Council meeting in Frankfurt on Thursday. Last week E.C.B. President Mario Draghi said the central bank would do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro. Investors now want to see if he'll put those words into action.
While the central bank meetings will be the forefront, investors will also be digesting all the earnings results that have come out over the past couple of weeks, and those that are due in the week ahead, said one expert.
Nearly 60% of the S&P 500 companies have already reported, and results have been lackluster. Excluding the financials sector, second quarter earnings are expected to decline 0.4%, according to Thomson Reuters, marking the end to a 10-quarter winning streak.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained a bit, lowering yields to 1.50% from Friday's 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for September delivery dropped 47 cents to $89.68 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery gained $1.70 to $1,619.70 U.S. an ounce.