Canadian stocks fell for the first time this week, led by financial shares, after Manulife Financial Corp. posted a record loss and an increase in U.S. jobless claims fueled concern the economic recovery is slowing.
Canadian banks, bolstered by profits per employee 31 percent higher than U.S. lenders, added more than 2,800 workers in the most recent quarter while Bank of America Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc. shed thousands of jobs.
Canadian stocks were little changed, with the benchmark index capping its second weekly loss this month, as commodity shares slumped while phone companies rallied amid a better-than-expected growth report from the U.S., the nation’s biggest trading partner.
The Montreal Canadiens’ 1980s hockey rivalry with the Quebec Nordiques was known as the Battle of Quebec. A new battle may be set to begin after BCE Inc. agreed to buy Astral Media Inc., strengthening its footprint in the French-speaking province as it takes on Quebecor Inc.