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Toronto main board; Eastern Platinum and Barrick Gold lead the market lower

Proactive Investors
Monday, 30 April 2012

From North America: Toronto's main market dipped Monday afternoon as weak GDP data in Canada and confirmation that Spain swung back into a recession hurt investor sentiment.
As of 12:40pm ET, the S&P/TSX Composite was down 4.68 points, or 0.04%, to 12,233.07, while the more junior S&P/TSX Venture Composite fell 0.73 points, or 0.05%, to 1,412.03.
On Monday, Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent in February, well below the 0.2 percent increase economists were expecting.
Meanwhile, in Europe official data confirmed Spain is back in its second recession in three years as its economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, following a similar decline in the previous quarter.
After markets closed Thursday, S&P also said it was downgrading the country's credit rating from "A" to "BBB+", citing a struggling banking sector that could require further government support. The move means Spanish debt is now ranked only three steps above junk bond status. The unemployment rate in the country rose to 24.4% in the first quarter.
Commodities were mixed, with gold for June delivery up slightly at $1,664.9 an ounce, and crude oil for June down 55 cents to $104.38 a barrel. Silver futures fell 1.1% to $31.05 an ounce, while the base metal copper contract gained 0.09% to $3.82 a pound.
In Toronto, energy stocks were the largest gainers, while metals and mining and materials stocks were the biggest weights. Financials also dipped into the red.
In mining, Eastern Platinum (TSE:ELR) was down more than 5%, while First Quantum (TSE:FM) and Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) were lower by 2.5% and 0.3%, respectively.
In energy, Suncor Energy (TSE:SU) advanced 2.9% and Canadian Natural Resources (TSE:CNQ) gained around 2%. Central Asia-focused Tethys Petroleum (TSE:TPL) rallied more than 11%.
Financials dipped around 0.2% as insurers Manulife Financial (TSE:MFC) and Sun Life (TSE:SLF) lost 1.7% and over 1%, respectively.
Research In Motion (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) pushed shares of info tech higher, with its shares up over 3%.
In corporate news on the day, InterOil Corp. (NYSE:IOC) said Monday it has reached a tentative joint venture with oil and natural gas company Pacific Rubiales Energy (TSE:PRE) valued at $345 million, plus a final payment.
Under the heads of agreement, Pacific Rubiales will pay $20 million in cash upfront to InterOil in return for a net 10 percent participating interest in the PPL237 petroleum prospecting license onshore Papua New Guinea.
Goldcorp (TSE:G) (NYSE:GG) said Monday the Supreme Court of Chile suspended the approval of an environmental permit for the El Morro copper-gold project. Sociedad Contractual Minera El Morro, which is owned 70 percent by Goldcorp and 30 percent by New Gold Inc. (TSE:NGD), has halted all project field work related to the permit. Shares of Goldcorp fell around 1.1%, while New Gold stock plummeted more than 8%.
Mercer International (TSE: MRI.U), meanwhile, formally dropped its bid to buy Fibrek (TSE: FBK), as the company was unable to acquire at least 50.1% of Fibrek shares by Friday. Mercer’s offer had been 40% higher than Resolute’s offer, formerly known as AbitibiBowater (TSE: ABH).
Maple Group, the consortium of 13 financial institutions that is looking to buy the TMX Group (TSE:X) said in a statement Friday that, subject to its satisfaction with the progress of certain discussions, it plans to extend its offer, which expires at 5pm today.


*Proactive Investors is a market leader in the investment news space, providing ASX “Small and Mid-cap” company news, research reports, StockTube videos and One2One Investor Forums.*
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