When the US/UK make more threats towards Iran, tarsands are worth more. They
want more tarsand oil in order to finish their wars in the Middle East.
It's a perfect match!
Canada Stocks Rise, Led by Suncor, as Oil Soars on Iran Tension
March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks fell for a second day, led by
Manulife Financial Corp., after a U.S. durable goods report renewed
concern that Canada's biggest trading partner may slow, and Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated inflation is still the U.S.
central bank's main concern.
Energy shares including Suncor Energy Inc. gained along with crude oil
prices, which climbed to a six-month high on concern tensions with Iran
will escalate and disrupt shipments from the Middle East.
``The Middle East is pushing oil prices higher, and the Fed is saying it's
still watching inflation -- that's hurting financial stocks,'' said Mario
Richard, who helps oversee $7.5 billion as senior portfolio manager at
Sceptre Investment Counsel Ltd. in Toronto. ``We're getting rising
inflation in an environment where the economy is slowing. That squeezes
profit margins. Canada's heavy resource exposure is cushioning the blow.
Resources are basically driven by world geopolitical events.''
The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index slipped 21.61, or 0.2 percent,
to 13,197.15 in Toronto. A measure of financial stocks that makes up about
one-third of the benchmark slipped 0.6 percent; a gauge of energy shares
accounting for more than a quarter of it rose 0.7 percent.
Orders for durable goods rebounded less than economists expected,
exacerbating concern that sliding home prices and weaker consumer
confidence may drag the world's biggest economy into recession. Bernanke
damped speculation that borrowing costs might be cut soon to spur growth.
In comments to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in Washington,
Bernanke repeated earlier forecasts that the U.S. economy is likely to
continue to expand at a moderate pace. He also said that inflation
``remains uncomfortably high.''
Fed policy makers last week kept the benchmark rate at 5.25 percent and
used language in their accompanying statement that was interpreted by some
investors as a signal the central bank was abandoning its bias toward
higher rates. That helped lift North American stocks to their best weekly
gains this year.
More than 80 percent of Canadian exports go to the U.S.
Manulife Financial, Canada's biggest insurer, dropped 38 cents to C$39.66.
Bank of Nova Scotia, the country's third-largest lender, fell 37 cents to
C$53.63. Bank of Montreal, the fourth- biggest bank, retreated 96 cents to
Lower interest rates may boost the value of bonds owned by banks and
insurers, and increase demand for mortgages and loans.
``Some expect a cut at the Fed's June meeting,'' said Luc Girard, who
helps oversee $14.1 billion as director of the portfolio advisory group at
Desjardins Securities in Montreal.
An interest rate ``cut is still the likely scenario,'' Sceptre's Richard
said. ``Weak equity markets will be an additional reason to cut rates.''
Crude oil for May delivery rose $1.15, or 1.8 percent, to $64.08 a barrel
in New York, the highest since Sept. 11. Iran on March 23 seized 15
sailors and marines in the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which separates Iran
and Iraq. ``It is now time to ratchet up the pressure,'' U.K. Prime
Minister Tony Blair said in London today, stoking speculation the dispute
Suncor Energy, the world's second-biggest producer of oil extracted from
Canada's tar-sands deposits, climbed C$3.33 to C$89.17. Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd., the nation's second- largest natural-gas company, advanced
C$1.24 to C$64.09.
Nexen Inc. added 87 cents to C$70.92. The oil and natural-gas producer's
board of directors approved a two-for-one stock split. The split still
requires approval by shareholders and regulators, Nexen said in a
statement on Market Wire.
Shares of Crystallex International Corp., which is developing Venezuela's
biggest gold deposit, soared 98 cents, or 28 percent, to C$4.50. Gold
Reserve Inc., added C$2.53, or 49 percent, to C$7.66, after it said in a
release that it got the Venezuelan government's go-ahead to begin with
construction of its Las Brisas gold and copper project.
Crystallex Chief Executive Officer Gordon Thompson said in a statement
that Gold Reserve's receipt of the permit signals Venezuela is advancing
mining projects. He said Crystallex is in the final stages of the approval