TSX Retreats with Commodity Prices

Canadian Tire in Spotlight

Equity prices in Toronto fell on Friday, heading for their first decline in nine days as they pulled back from the previous day's record high, pressured by losses for resource shares as oil and copper prices fell.

The S&P/TSX Composite climbed to within 23.99 points of breakeven to greet noon at 15,840.18

The Canadian dollar fell 0.22 cents to 76.25 cents U.S.

Stock markets in Toronto are closed Monday for Family Day.

Fairfax Financial Holdings fell more than 3% to $611.00. On Thursday, the company reported a 27.5% slump in revenue, weighed down by losses from cuts to equity hedges following the U.S. presidential election.

Shares of Enbridge Inc fell nearly 1% to $54.90. Canada's largest pipeline company reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit as expenses jumped and the company said its deal to buy Spectra Energy Corp was on track to close this quarter.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost ground with First Quantum Minerals slumping nearly 7% to $14.78 after reporting fourth quarter results on Thursday.

Copper prices declined 0.6% to $5,967 a tonne.

Air Canada reported a bigger quarterly loss and said it expected its margins to halve in the current quarter from a year ago, as fuel costs inch up with the rise in oil prices.

Its shares fell 6.7% to $13.44.

Consumer discretionary stocks advanced, helped by a 2.4% gain for Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd to $158.21.

Some analysts raised their target price on Canadian Tire's stock after the company reported strong fourth quarter and full year results on Thursday.

On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported that foreigners acquired $10.2 billion worth of Canadian securities during December, largely through acquisition of shares. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $6.7 billion, led by purchases of non-U.S. foreign shares.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked up 0.6 points to 843.89

Seven of the 12 subgroups were lower, as materials capsized 1.2%, gold 1.1%, and health-care suffered 0.4%.

The five gainers were led by consumer discretionary stocks, ahead 0.6%, telecoms, up 0.4%, and information technology, gaining 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities fell on Friday as a record-setting rally slowed down, while investors kept an eye on France's presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 61.62 points from Thursday’s all-time high to 20,558.15, with UnitedHealth contributing the most losses.

The S&P 500 dropped 4.48 points to 2,342.74, with telecommunications lagging

The NASDAQ poked ahead 3.34 points to 5,818.24

The only major economic data released Friday are leading indicators, which rose 0.6% in January.

Overseas, according to recent polls, Marine Le Pen — France's far-right, anti-European Union candidate — is the favourite to win the first round of voting, scheduled for April. However, it is not clear whether she will win the run-off vote in May.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.42% from Thursday’s 2.45%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 22 cents to $53.14 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices faded $2.30 to $1,239.30 U.S. an ounce.