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Canada Stocks Fall as Obama Comments Fuel Concern Over Ukraine

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 26-03-2014 Gerrit De Vynck

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks dropped the most in almost two months, led by a decline in raw-materials producers, as comments by U.S. President Barack Obama raised concern the situation in Ukraine may escalate.

NovaGold Resources Inc. dropped 7.8 percent as the price of gold retreated. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. lost 1.6 percent after copper prices slid. AGF Management Ltd. added 2.2 percent after the investment-management firm’s quarterly revenue topped estimates.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Index fell 115.39 points, or 0.8 percent, to 14,184.10 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, for the biggest drop since Feb. 3. The gauge has fallen 0.2 percent this month, paring its gain for the quarter to 4.1 percent.

“Investors around the world have been waiting to see what kind of reaction the United States and the EU would really take regarding Russia’s annexation of Crimea beyond sanctions,” Frederic Dickson, chief investment strategist who helps oversee $44.5 billion at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon, said in a telephone interview. “Any hints of escalation in terms of rhetoric or action would probably trigger investors to stand back and take recent profits.”

Stocks declined as Obama warned that there were consequences for being complacent on the situation in Ukraine. Speaking in Brussels, Obama said Russia can’t run “roughshod” over its neighbors and its incursion into Crimea must be met with condemnation.

Gold Producers

Seven of 10 main industries in the equities benchmark retreated today. Materials producers sank 2.9 percent to lead losses.

All 23 members of a gold-miner index declined, as the precious metal’s price slid to a five-week low. NovaGold Resources fell 7.8 percent to C$3.93 and Semafo Inc. lost 8.9 percent to C$3.67.

Turquoise Hill declined 1.6 percent to C$3.76. Copper fell from a two week-high in New York as inventories climbed and the dollar strengthened, reducing the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset.

Capstone Mining Corp. rose 4.7 percent to C$2.87. The company said results of a study indicate its Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona will produce to 2026, eight years longer than previously estimated.

Bombardier Inc. fell 2.2 percent to C$4.05, pacing declines among industrial shares. The company delayed the first flight of its Learjet 85. Spokeswoman Annie Cossette said the delay was because of a “systems issue” and the company couldn’t say when the plane will fly.

Oculus VisionTech Inc. surged as much as 152 percent after Facebook Inc. paid $2 billion to buy a similarly named company. Trading in Oculus VisionTech, which makes technology for digital media and is based in Vancouver, was temporarily halted and the company said in a statement it was not associated with the Facebook deal. The social-media company acquired Oculus VR Inc., which makes a virtual-reality headset.

Oculus VisionTech closed 19 percent higher at 16 Canadian cents.

AGF Management added 2.2 percent to C$12.66. The firm reported revenue of C$116.9 million while analysts’ estimated C$114 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in Toronto at gdevynck@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net Jeremy Herron, Jeff Sutherland

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