Canada Stocks Fluctuate as Gain in Banks Offsets Oil's Decline

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks were little-changed, after slumping the most in almost three weeks yesterday, while the Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged for a third meeting.

Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth-largest lender, slipped 0.2 percent after second-quarter profit dropped due to a restructuring charge. National Bank of Canada added 1.2 percent after raising its dividend amid rising profit. Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. slumped 9.6 percent after Crescent Point Energy Corp. agreed to buy the company yesterday.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index slipped 1.02 point to 15,049.79 at 10:33 a.m. in Toronto. The benchmark equity gauge declined 0.9 percent yesterday, the most since May 6. A decline today would give it a four-day losing streak.

Five of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX retreated on trading volume 8.3 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of the day. Financial shares added 0.2 percent, while shares in producers of consumer discretionary items added 0.6 percent.

The Bank of Canada maintained its benchmark rate at 0.75 percent and said the economy is recovering from a drop in oil prices. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg unanimously forecast no change to the central bank’s 0.75 percent benchmark rate.

Bank of Montreal slipped 0.3 percent as net income declined 7.2 percent after taking a restructuring charge of C$106 million to “drive operational efficiencies.” National Bank of Canada climbed after posting a 12 percent increase in net income and increased its dividend 4 percent.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank report results Thursday, followed by Bank of Nova Scotia on Friday.

Energy shares declined 0.9 percent to pace losses in the broader index. Oil fluctuated in New York near $58 a barrel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Lam in Toronto at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Sutherland at Jeremy Herron


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