RTTNews - Bay Street stocks have moved to a weekly low on Thursday, led by significant weakness in the energy sector. Stocks are on target for a second straight negative close after five straight gains.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has declined 94.14 points or 0.9% to move at 10,280.77. The index followed the lead of U.S. and European stocks.
Energy stocks are down 3.4% as crude oil has dropped below $67 a barrel on the NYMEX. Suncor (SU.TO) is down 5.5%, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) has dropped 4.2%, Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) is down 3.7% and Encana (ECA.TO) is down 2.3%.
On the other hand, Gastar Exploration (YGA.TO) has soared nearly 50% after the oil and gas explorer announced Thursday that it has agreed to sell its entire interest in petroleum exploration licenses in New South Wales, Australia and the shares of Gastar Power Pty to affiliates of Santos for an aggregate amount of US$240 million.
Materials stocks are showing a 2.4% gain, led by a 3.7% spike by Potash (POT.TO). Rival Agrium (AGU.TO) has added 1.5%. Mining stocks are up 2% as First Quantum (FM.TO) has added 2.1%.
In other corporate news, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) has dropped 2.9% after the stock was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Raymond James.
Research in Motion (RIM.TO) has dropped 1.6%. The Blackberry-maker's stockk was initiated at Outperform with a target price of $100 at BMO Capital.
EXFO Electro-Optical (EXFO.TO) was down 5.4% despite being upgraded to Overweight from Market Weight with a price target of $4 by Thomas Weisel.
Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) has dropped 2.6% after the company said Tuesday after the close that it has signed a contract with the Toronto Transit Commission for the supply of 204 100% low-floor streetcars to replace the City of Toronto's aging fleet of vehicles.
CanWest Global Communications (CGS.TO) has declined 3.2%. The company agreed to sell two small television stations in Montreal and Hamilton in a deal that is believed to be worth less than $5,000, according to the Globe and Mail.
Paramount Gold and Silver Corp. (PZG.TO) announced a property option amendment agreement of its Morelos Project situated in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Shares are down 4.6%.
On the economic front in the U.S., a Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 467,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 322,000 jobs in May. Economists had been expected a decrease of about 365,000 jobs compared to the loss of 345,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
A separate report showed initial claims fell to 614,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 630,000. Economists had been expecting claims to fall to 615,000 from the 627,000 originally reported for the previous week.
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