Toronto stocks have remained in the red in Monday afternoon trading. Gold-related stocks are leading the way with the precious metal falling sharply again.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has dropped 99.84 points or 1.1% to trade at 8,965.92. Last week, the index had hit its highest closing mark since early January.
Gold stocks are down 3.5% and the Materials Index is down 3%. New Gold (NGD.TO) has dropped 9.6%, Iamgold (IMG.TO) is down 8.7% and Seagold (SEA.TO) is down 6%.
Royal Gold (RGL.TO) has dropped 7% after the company said it agreed with a subsidiary of Teck Cominco Ltd. (TCK-B.TO) to acquire the gold production at the Andacollo mine located in Chile. The purchase price consists of $100 million in cash and about 4.5 million shares of common stock.
Separately, Royal Gold announced that it intends to offer 6.5 million shares of its common stock to fund the transaction.
Pan American Silver Corp. (PAA.TO) has lost 5.25% after the company said Friday night that Union workers at its Morococha mine in Peru initiated a strike after the company and Union representatives failed to reach an agreement with respect to an increase in base pay and benefits.
Mining stocks have dropped 3% as First-Quantum (FM.TO) has lost 5.25% and Inmet (IMN.TO) has slipped 3.5%.
In other corporate news, Mega Brands (MB.TO) has plunged 18.8% after the toymaker reported a net loss of US$323.3 million or US$8.83 per share for the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of US$66.2 million or US$1.81 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Akela Pharma (AKL.TO) has plummeted 11.75% after the company reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of US$13.6 million or US$0.63 per share, in comparison a loss of US$8.9 million or US$0.75 per share in the same quarter a year-ago.
WestJet (WJA.TO) has lost 3.25% after the company announced its March load factor was 81.9%, down from 86.6% in the prior year. Revenue passenger miles increased 0.6% year over year to 1.25 billion from 1.24 bilion a year ago. Capacity, measured in available seat miles, grew 6.3% to 1.52 billion from 1.43 billion in the same period last year.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported Canadian buildings permits dropped 15.9% in February. A much more modest decline of 2.8% was predicted by economists, compared to a 6% slide in January.
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