By Satish Sarangarajan
TORONTO--Toronto stocks closed mixed Friday, as strength in gold shares clashed with the selloff in Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM, RIM.T).
RIM suffered its biggest percentage drop of 2012, plunging 22% to C$10.86 despite upbeat third-quarter results, after Chief Executive Thorsten Heins announced unspecified changes to the company's service-revenue model. The maker of BlackBerry phones relies on service revenues for more than a third of its revenue. RIM's fall dragged with it the IT index, which tumbled 7.5%.
The S&P/TSX Composite fell 3.01 points to 12385.70, and advances led declines 838 to 825, preliminary data showed. But the S&P/TSX 60 rose 0.72 points to 712.30.
Canadian stocks drew little support from Canada's macroeconomic readings, as core inflation rose at an annualized 1.2% in November, well below the Bank of Canada's target of 2% and as GDP grew an in-line 0.1% in October.
The TSX did much better than its counterparts in the U.S., where Republican House Speaker John Boehner abandoned his "Plan B" budget proposal to a vote after failing to secure enough support within his party. Mr. Boehner also disbanded the House till after Christmas, leaving even less time before the Jan. 1 deadline, to settle the fiscal cliff.
"It's status quo for the markets. We are still hopeful that something happens before next weekend," said Brian Huen, money manager at Red Sky Capital Management in Toronto.
Trading volume rose to 540.5 million shares from 392.9 million Thursday, as six of the 10 sectors on TSX closed up.
Raw materials shares rose 0.3%, as strengthening prices of gold, a traditional safe haven, lifted Canadian gold producers. Yamana Gold Inc. (AUY, YRI.T) was up 3.2% and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX, ABX.T) had gained 0.4%.
In energy, little known Calgary oil and gas producer Oando Energy Resources Inc. (ONDOF, OER.T) surged 6.7% on its plans to acquire ConocoPhillips' Nigerian assets for about $1.79 billion.
Write to Satish Sarangarajan at email@example.com
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